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Council Member Patrick Mcgee speaks at a city council meeting Monday, August 22, 2016. (CAMILLE FINE | FOR THE POST)

City Council: Members discuss the University Courtyard transit service and details about this year's Halloween block party

Athens City Council members discussed during their Monday night meeting the idea of Athens Public Transit taking over the University Courtyard Apartments' transit service.

Michael Lachman, public transit coordinator for APT, spoke about the program and why it will no longer be running. University Courtyard Service is a service for the apartment complex that is located on Richland Avenue, Lachman said. That service was run by the university, who contacted APT to take the service over.

“The reason (the university is) no longer running it has to do with federal charter regulations and some of the inspection requirements that go along with that,” Lachman said. “Transportation and parking decided that it was no longer to their advantage (to keep the service running).”

APT said that in order to take over the service, it would need an additional bus in its fleet. However, after negotiating with Ohio University Transportation Services, the shuttle bus that it had been using to run that service is available for purchase.

“We are working on getting a purchase contract in place, which allows for that purchase price to be reimbursed through the city,” Lachman said. “We will also need an ordinance on quotes to approve purchase of (the) vehicle and accept (it) as capital asset.”

With the University Courtyard contract starting Fall Semester, it is urgent that APT obtains a bus, Lachman said. The bus APT is looking to be purchased is $38,000, has roughly 72,000 miles on it and was manufactured in 2014, Lachman said.

Councilwoman Arian Smedley, D-At Large, said she believes that is a reasonable cost for the bus. Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said it will take approximately two weeks to get that contract in place.

Additionally, city council discussed street closings and vending concerns for the 2017 Halloween block party.

Brandon Thompson, a member of Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee, said the street closings for the 2017 block party will be the same as last year, and there will be the same ending times for the party as well.

“Everything seemed to work out,” Thompson said.

Councilman Patrick McGee, I-At Large, had mentioned he had spoken to several restaurant owners, who claimed business decreased during the block party because vendors are permitted to sell early in the day.

“People who should be benefitting from a local festival (are) losing business,” McGee said.

Vending begins at 1 p.m. at the College Gate, Thompson said. Patterson said many of those vendors are bigger carnival vendors and some are from the city of Athens.

McGee also noted that parking still seems to be a problem, and he suggested exploring the possibility of having a parking lot where Numbers Fest is held and having busses transport people into town. Thompson said there is a lot of space at that location, and it would be a great idea as long as rainy conditions are not present.


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