At its Monday night meeting, Athens City Council heard updates from Athens Municipal Arts Commission about its traffic box wraps project and the Stimson Avenue mural project.
The traffic box wraps will be displayed in 10 different locations around the city and has already been funded. The artists have already been assigned to their traffic boxes. That project has been designed to serve as a deterrent to graffiti.
“Statistics show that when art is in public places, it is less likely to become fodder to graffiti,” Councilman Kent Butler, D-1st Ward, said.
The Stimson Avenue mural will be white-washed and prepped for the artist, Keith Wilde, to paint the new mural on Athens Beautification Day. The mural there currently is more than 17 years old. The new mural is a painting of the release of white doves with the concept to provide something that people can easily interpret in the most optimistic terms.
“These are great ways for artists to contribute to our community, I’m really proud to be a part of that,” Wilde said.
Council members also heard an update from the Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Program about the Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program. Athens County applied with other jurisdictions for CHIP funding four years ago. The program is federally funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Members examined disposals from the Athens Police Department. The disposed equipment can include anything from old, broken firearms to parking meters. All disposed equipment is traded to a federally licensed dealer.
Council also discussed ARTS/West re-bid and renovations. The renovations include flooring, doors, plumbing and bathroom accessibility and used money from the city’s proprietary fund. The building was overbid before, at $195,104, and the members believe the new estimate is reasonable.
The City of Athens is still working on a 2018 to 2020 contract with the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said he would like to have resolutions in the next day or so because “time is running short.”
Members also discussed a 2018 contract renewal with the Athens County Economic Development Council. The City of Athens, Ohio University and OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital are partners with the EDC. It has been nine years since the contract has been renewed.