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Members of the Athens City Council during council's meeting on Jan. 16. (FILE)

City Council: Members oppose construction of a Piketon nuclear waste facility

Athens City Council passed a resolution Monday night opposing the construction of a nuclear waste disposal facility in Piketon.

The Village of Piketon conducted an independent survey of the 10-acre site and found that there are fractures in the bedrock that the Department of Energy didn’t include in its report. The site is also 8,000 feet from a school.

“This is a David vs. Goliath fight we’re in here,” Piketon Mayor Billy Spencer said.

Piketon officials also approached various other cities and municipalities, including Waverly and Chillicothe, asking for support.

Later in the meeting, members suspended the rules and approved an ordinance to allow Athens Mayor Steve Patterson to apply for a Recreational Trails Program Grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the Columbus Road bike path spur trailhead.

Members also approved an ordinance authorizing an opt-out community solar program through the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council to appear on the ballot in May. The program would would charge a $1-2 per month carbon fee to Athens residents who choose not to opt out.

“It’s no different than a service fee,” Patterson said.

Council members amended an ordinance dealing with street closures for the International Street Fair on April 7. Court Street and University Terrace will be closed during the fair. College Street will also be closed but will remain open for local traffic.

City council also received a notice of creation of the Athens City Affordable Housing Commission, which is now being formed. Council will appoint seven members to the commission, and Ohio University and Patterson will appoint one member each.

Members also suspended the rules and approved an ordinance amending the 2018 appropriations ordinance because the city has overdue bills that need to be paid, including the Athens Armory electric bill and a refund to OU.


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