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Mayor Steve Patterson listens to the City Council discuss ordinances during their meeting on Jan. 16th, 2018.

City Council: Members approve sewage base rates, street closure requested for fundraising event

At the City Council meeting Monday night, 19 ordinances were approved and the Rotary Club of Athens requested a street closure for their Pizza Fest fundraiser.

The Rotary Club of Athens requested that the council approve road closure on the lower half of Court Street for their Pizza Fest fundraiser. The event would ideally take place on April 6.

Last year, the International Street Fair and Moms Weekend took place on the weekend of April 6. 

Several council members were concerned about closing off this portion of Court Street with the possibility of the International Street Fair returning on the same date this year. 

“International Street Fair is the big question,” Councilman Peter Kotses,  D-At Large, said.

Councilman Pat McGee, I-At Large, brought up the possibility of Pizza Fest being held at an alternate location, such as college green or another grassy area.

The event has been successful in the past, with last year bringing in about $10,000 for the club. Revenue would be used to help fund the Rotary Club of Athens and their activities throughout the 2019 year.

The council approved an ordinance that allows the service-safety director to enter into a licensure and land use agreement with Ohio University.

Land adjacent to the Hocking River, across from the Athens Community Center, would be part of this agreement. There are 16 acres of land that is planned to be used for passive recreation. There would be a plan put together to deal with the invasive plants growing on the land once it is acquired.

“Removing invasives and tackling those sort of issues won’t preclude any activities down there,” councilwoman Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, said.

Another approved ordinance will increase the base rate that Athens residents pay for their sewage and water each month. 

Base rates for sewage and water haven’t changed since 2013. This year, the people of Athens paid around $14 a month for water and sewage. In the upcoming year, this rate will increase about $10 and cost residents about $24 a month.

Many municipalities around Athens pay more for their water and sewage, councilwoman Sarah Grace, D-At Large, said.

Vendors in Athens can now pay monthly for licensing due to an ordinance that was passed. The council hopes that this will help open up some parking spaces Uptown and also benefit vendors who don’t vend during the winter months.

Councilman Kotses thought that the switch to monthly licensing would be a burden on the city.

“I just don’t know if this is the way to go,” Councilman Kotses said.

The 2019 budget was reviewed and approved during the meeting.

The process of creating the budget began in August. The budget stands at $45,201,649. This includes general and proprietary funds. 

Multiple ordinances that revise code language were also approved during this time.


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