City Council members passed an ordinance to purchase Tasers and police-worn body cameras for the Athens Police Department at Monday’s meeting.

The ordinance allows the service safety director to enter Athens into a five-year contract, which would cost Athens $214,000, Councilman Kent Butler, D-1st Ward, said.

According to a previous Post article, APD would receive Axon Body 3, the latest generation camera, and Taser 7. The cameras will be able to be activated in three ways: siren and lights activation, manual activation or holster activation.

The cameras were considered a few years ago, but Kotses said the cameras have become much cheaper. Kostes said if this even saves Athens one insurance claim, it would be worth the investment.

City Council members also discussed the cost of bringing the cost of e-scooters to Athens.

Councilman Pat McGee, I-At Large, said he was concerned about the fee the city would be charged. He hoped council members would consider amending the fee because he thought it could drive out potential businesses.

Mayor Steve Patterson said it is $1 per day per scooter in Columbus. In comparison, it would only be 27 cents per day that Athens would have to pay the e-scooter companies.

Council members also looked at multiple ordinances that involved street repair and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Council members passed an ordinance that allows Patterson to enter into an agreement to get funding from the Transportation and Improvement District to improve Stimson Avenue.

Council also passed an ordinance that allows the service safety director to enter into contracts for a $603,000 project to renovate the parking garage on East Washington Street. Improvements include adding additional lighting, lowering costs with LED systems, adding signs and color-coding each level to make it easier for people to find their cars, Kotses said.

Members also passed an ordinance to close part of Union Street between Congress Street and Court Street for the second annual Arts and Music Festival on Aug. 17. 

Two more ordinances were passed to suspend the unnecessary noise code and to suspend the ban on vending, soliciting and peddling on that part of Union Street for the festival.

Council members also passed an ordinance that enables Patterson to sell property on Blackburn Road for $124,000 to the Athens Metropolitan Housing Authority, which is already the organization that is managing the property.

Patterson said Ohio money from this couldn’t go toward zero-interest of low-interest down payments for homes, but it could be used for sidewalk repairs or home repairs.


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