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At-large city council members Sarah Grace (left), Patrick McGee (middle) and Peter Kotses (right) during the Jan. 16 Athens City Council meeting. (FILE)

City Council: Members discuss infrastructure improvements and food trucks

Athens City Council members discussed infrastructure improvements, mobile vending regulations, the new public swimming pool and election day at their Monday night committee meeting.

Members approved an ordinance to allow the mayor to submit an application and enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for a grant which would improve all the streets that intersect Court Street.

The Transportation Alternative Programs Grant will fund improvements that increase pedestrian safety by adding curb extensions at intersections and making crosswalks shorter on East Washington, East State and Mill streets, according to a previous Post report.

Members also passed a proposal to table the discussion of an amendment to Title 11 of the Athens Code of Ordinances which deals with business. 

The amendment of this ordinance would change the times that mobile vendors are allowed to sell their products.

Pat McGee, I-At Large, said that he did not think the proposal satisfied what needed to be done at the time. He wants to propose a new amendment at the next meeting that deals with new times for vending.

“I think that this process has pointed out a whole range of issues that we need to address because our vending ordinance is rather old and we really haven’t addressed it,” Councilwoman Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, said. “Going forward we need to keep that in the back of our mind.”

Damon Krane, owner and operator of Hot Potato Food Truck and president of the Athens Mobile Vending Association, said that the organization favors tabling the amendment until they have time to learn what vendors would like to see from a city ordinance and for them to meet with city officials to develop their suggestions.

Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said Ohio University is interested in partnering with the city on the annual repaving ordinance for the repair of West Green Drive, Race Street and parts of South Green Drive.

Patterson said there is a possibility that this partnership could allow for the city to pave additional streets within the city that were on the alternate list.The ordinance would also repave other streets in Athens. 

“That would be a great thing,” Councilman Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, said.

Members also passed ordinances that dealt with approving street closures, vending ordinances and exemption of noise ordinances for the Boogie on the Bricks Community Music & Arts Street Festival and the Ohio Brew Week.

Patterson also said that the Athens swimming pool opening date, which was originally Memorial Day weekend, has been moved to Tuesday, June 12. Patterson said that was due to weather slowing down the process of concrete deck pouring.

“My 7-year-old has declared that the pool is going to be epic,” Councilwoman Sarah Grace, D-At Large, said. “There is going to be a lot of excitement from the young members of the Athens community when the pool opens.”

Athens City Council President Chris Knisely said that she urges everyone to get to the polls and cast their ballots. She said that there are a lot of opportunities for people and there are some important issues on the ballot this year.


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