Athens City Council met Monday to discuss communications regarding new information on ongoing projects and the state of the Athens City Parking Garage.

Mayor Steve Patterson informed City Council the Athens City Parking Garage elevators remain inoperable. The elevators in the garage were installed by KONE but are maintained by Otis Elevator Company after the city changed companies. The parts causing problems are KONE parts. The city has been finding more issues than initially thought within the cars and more components that need to be replaced.

“We are putting as much pressure on the company to get this rectified as soon as possible,” Patterson said.

Patterson apologized for any inconveniences that may have arisen for those with special needs or other residents who have to walk five sets of stairs until the problem is resolved.

Patterson also reported Athens had received a letter from the Ohio Department of Transportation, or ODOT regarding grants.

The city will be receiving the Transportation Alternatives Program grant as well as the Safety Program grant, Patterson said.

The two grants together may allot to greater than $1 million worth of street improvements to Athens as part of a 2023 project. The funds are specifically for improvements on State Street between College and Congress, as well as East Union from Court to College Street. Patterson said the city will be reaching back out to ODOT to inquire about West Washington being included as an area for improvement.

The city received a letter last week from AEP Ohio recognizing the city of Athens Water Treatment Plant for its commitment to energy efficiency and the environment in taking part in AEP Ohio’s savings incentive program for businesses in 2018. 

“As a result of their leadership, the Athens Water Treatment Plant will save 56,376 kilowatt hours, or 42.49 tons of CO2 annually,” Patterson said.

That is the same as taking nine cars off the road per year, the annual CO2 generation of five single-family homes or 703 tree seedlings growing for 10 years, according to AEP.

“This is big,” Patterson said. “It’s also great to hear about the energy efficiencies and the savings that the city is seeing in terms of our electric bill … which allows us to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars and deploy that money towards other needs in the city.”

There will be a ribbon cutting on Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. to commemorate improvements at the plant, including the new solar array, which Patterson said is 190 kilowatts.