Athens City Council passed an ordinance Monday authorizing Athens’ service safety director to enter into a loan of more than $5 million for the Stimson Avenue project.

Currently, the project has an estimated cost of $7 million. Athens has been awarded an Ohio Small Cities Grant worth over $2 million. The current loan the interim service safety director, Tom Pyle, is entering into can be reduced through various other grants and loans. That includes an Ohio Public Works Grant worth $400,000 and Ohio Department of Transportation safety funds worth $500,000.

“Director Heady has done all of the estimates for the construction, assuming that we don’t receive all of those pending grants,” Councilman Sam Crowl, D-3rd ward, said.

Stimson Avenue carries over 7,000 vehicles every day and has had 19 vehicle crashes and three pedestrian crashes in the past five years, Crowl said. 

Council also discussed waste management funds for the city of Athens, which could include composting services for an additional fee. 

Jan Hodson, president of the Far East Side Neighborhood Association, asked Council to negotiate with Athens Hocking Recycling and Refuse in order to extend the current solid waste contract for another six months. Hodson also asked Council to remove composting from the proposed ordinances for this contract.

“This is not the time to add this additional cost to already-stretched family budgets,” Hodson said.

Councilwoman Beth Clodfelter, D-At Large, said she has received 25 emails in favor of adding curbside composting.