City Council Meeting Feb. 21, 2011

Notes from the Athens City Council Meeting – Feb. 21, 2011

By Mel Ruberg

The Dairy Barn now sells alcohol! You can now acquire your favorite alcoholic beverages right off of Richland near the Ohio University Inn.

In honor of Mental Disabilities Month, ATCO is having a Disability Awareness Festival at the Athens Community Center on Tuesday March 3rd from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Events include displays and presentations by individuals with disabilities, music, poetry, and appetizers.

Also included at the meeting was one brave young student who proposed to the council that we move 8 fest away from the Fairgrounds back to a location far from campus in order to avoid legal issues and due to the fact that it coincides with the Relay for Life. The issue has been added to the agenda for next week’s meeting for further discussion.

If you have questions/concerns/grievances regarding these or any other City Council related business, there will be a Town Hall meeting this Saturday, February 26 open to all students and residents of the fine city of Athens.

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Athens City Council Meeting – 1/31/11

Athens City Council Meeting – 1/31/11
By Sarah Eksi
The council adopted resolution R-01-11, giving the green light to replace some of the portions of the sidewalk on Mill Street. Since they will already be working on the sewer system on Mill they decided taking this job on would be good timing. They will also be starting these projects over the summer. As most of you know that is a low traffic time in Athens, so it will be convenient for a large number of individuals.
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Athens City Council – Meeting January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011

Athens City Council Meeting

By Anna Morton

Environmental Committee

-          In a special session a $75,000 Ohio Natural Resources Plant grant was proposed concerning the need for road asphalt repairs. This grant coordinates with two other grants from the Athens City Council Health Department and the Athens Rural Action. Decision to pass or deny grant was not decided in meeting, it was decided to be discussed on the available time of members in the council.

-          Presentation was given by the Soil and Water Conservation District of Athens, OH. Soil and water Conservation consists of planning to prevent flooding, erosion etc.

o   Homesite evaluations for landowners, developers, and contractors

o   Plan reviews for subdivisions, storm water management, and educational programming

o   Working on creating expansion of rain gardens in Athens

-          Green Building Policy was discussed concerning the advancement of leadership in energy and environmental design. Promoting the health of residents, sustainability, and water and energy efficiency.

Safety Services Committee

-          Fire Ladder Truck, discussed the need for a new fire truck with a ladder. Areas, especially around residential houses on campus, are in high need of fire safety. Also, better tree planting planning needs to take place. Trees that are newly planted need to be sure not to prohibit fire safety in the future.

-          Under miscellaneous, the fires department also proposed the need for a grant to install a smart board at the fire station and new computer software

-          Also discussed the need to add more defibrillators in the Athens City Hall building

City Service Committee

-Potential Sewer Expansion in Athens

Planning and Development Committee

-Had no report

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Athens City Council Meeting – January 18, 2011

Athens City Council Meeting

January 18, 2011

By Mel Ruberg

 

The years first annual Town Hall meeting will occur on February 1st at the Athens Community Center. There are only three to four of these a year, so if you want to voice your opinion about the roof ordinance, the noise ordinance, or anything else that really grinds your gears about the City of Athens, this is the place to be.
Good news for our favorite party street! Introducing the Mill Street Sewer replacement project, a $53,000 ordinance that is still in the planning stages of planning the project, so if you have standing water on your sidewalk, be ready to hike up your pants for a couple more months. A little more exciting, is the plan to gradually replace the sidewalks on Mill in order to make your walks from party to party a little more stumble free. First up is the section between Lash and North McKinley. More to come!

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Athens City Council Meeting January 10, 2011

Athens City Council Meeting

Monday, January 10, 2011

By Brad Evans

 

For the first committee meeting of the year, Council heard three presentations at the beginning of the meeting. The first was from the Disabilities Committee about the possibility of removing the word ‘handicapped’ from city signs because it is considered offensive. The change would be made as signs need to be changed out because of age and would not cost the city more money.

There was a presentation about Live Healthy Appalachia which helps promote healthy eating and exercising to lower-income communities in Southeastern Ohio. The group will hold a weekend of workshops in the spring where community members can hear from public health professionals and learn more about healthy habits. They also are working with the elementary schools to promote healthy school lunches. This also allows students to share what they’ve learned with their parents in hopes of improving eating habits at home.

The final presentation was from me – Brad Evans – on behalf of Athens Beautification Day 2011. The City of Athens has always been a big supporter of this day of community service. They also provide monetary sponsorship each year. My presentation was to request funds for this year’s event. Mayor Wiehl has written a letter of support for Beautification Day and told Council that there are funds available for such projects as ours.

Fire Chief Troxel also made a request to Council concerning the purchase of a new ladder truck for the department. The current ladder truck is 22 years old; the average for this piece of equipment is usually 20 years. The Chief asked former Mayor Able and previous Council to begin discussing the issue before the truck reached its current age but nothing was decided. The city would like to ask Ohio University to help it with the $900,000 purchase with a student fee because the majority of the buildings that it is needed for are on campus. Nothing has been decided yet.

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Athens City Council Meeting 11/1/10

Athens City Council Meeting: Monday, November 1, 2010

By Chris Loehr

-City auditor reported there was a flat tax revenue this year

-Ordinance 0-103-10 read for second time; extends sidewalk on Morris down to the bike path. They are also building sidewalks on Verona. It all pertains to the safety of children on their way to school. 100% grant from the city, was ADOPTED

-Ordinance 0-107-10 is authorizing Phase I for carpentry and construction for a bridge over the Hocking River from the bike path

-Ordinance 0-108-10 amends ordinance 0-80-10; raises amount taken from Street Rehabilitation Fund from $200,000 to $219,500, has to do with accounting issues

-Ordinance 0-109-10 temporarily suspends fees for metered parking and the municipal parking garage from the Friday after Thanksgiving to Midnight, January 2, 2011. Instead there will be a free two hour limit for the bagged meters during this time.

-Ordinance 0-111-10 is to repair the fire escape on the outside of the council chambers which was estimated at $12,000; moves $13,500 to General Fund for personnel salaries through the end of the year; moves $30,000 to Recreation Fund to cover personnel salaries through the end of the year; $8,000 to Internal Service Fund to cover personnel salaries through the end of the year.

-Ordinance 0-112-10 amends ordinance 0-40-09 authorizing additional expenditure for the RCRA closure; has been going on around 23 years, still paying down a fine. -Ordinance 1-113-10 is for waste water treatment upgrades and will cost an estimated $4-7 million dollars; will be completed through 2011-2013.

-Ordinance 0-59-10 amended to state compliance for carbon monoxide detectors for landlords; moved from next September until January 1, 2012.

-A citizen spoke before council because his car was confiscated after he failed to move it from a city street for more than 48 hours.

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City Council Meeting 10/25/10

Athens City Council Meeting

Monday, October 25, 2010

By Brad Evans

Off-Campus Life Commissioner

City Services Committee

  • Talked about the ordinance requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors in each rental unit.
  • They need to be in all sleeping areas but they did not say whether or not that means in each bedroom.
  • They need to be electric with battery backups.
  • The ordinance was read twice then tabled.
  • Dr. Tim Ryan from Ohio University did research and raised concerns about the reliability of carbon monoxide detectors and which models are the best.
    • His research showed that 21% of detectors failed a test
    • The ordinance will be revised to state that landlords must replace each detector every five years. It will also state the minimum amount a landlord must pay for each detector. (Perhaps $100 – the cheaper, the more likely to fail)
    • The ordinance will begin to be enforced in January of 2012.
    • Councilman Gosney proposed that units with electric heating be excluded from the ordinance.

 

  • Halloween Safety Teams are forming.

 

  • AEP issued a high wind alert for tomorrow (October 26, 2010) because of the risk of damaging winds between the hours of 5-9pm

 

Transportation Committee

  • Councilwoman Knisley spoke about the bike trail expansion south from town to U.S. 682.
  • The project will cost $221,000 total but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will be covering the majority of the project.
  • The City of Athens will cover $50,000 of the project’s costs and that will be paid for out of the City Recreation Fund.

 

City Services Committee

  • Officials from AEP Ohio presented a slideshow about four outages in the East State Street service area this year.
  • They have finished improvements to the electric grid that should prevent these outages from occurring again.
  • John Buck, Community Affairs Director, and six others answered questions from City Council.

 

  • Sewer improvements are being planned. An ordinance will be up for its first reading next week with work beginning as soon as December 1, 2010.
  • It will consist of rehabbing the water treatment plant with plans for future expansion and energy efficiency.
  • The project is expected to cost $250,000 with the majority of that coming from the sewer replacement fund. It will cost the city $50,000 this year.
  • Council noted that the changes that have been made in order to comply with the Ohio EPA and Clean Water Act meet and exceed the mandates.
  • They also hinted at the possibility of treating waste water from another community but did not say which one.

 

Finance & Personnel Committee

  • There will be quite a few appropriation requests in the coming weeks.
  • The mayor noted that the city transportation system will be short about $30,000 in budget by the end of the year. It costs the city $56 per hour to run buses in Athens.
  • The city auditor pushed the idea of online withholding tax payments starting January 1, 2011. This will save the city thousands of dollars in printing and mailing costs.
  • “Go Bus” will begin service from Athens-Cincinnati and Athens-Columbus beginning November 1, 2010. This was made possible from grants from the state and federal governments. The buses will depart and arrive at the Athens Community Center and cost $10 each way.
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