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The public attends the Athens City Council meeting in Athens City Hall on Monday, February 3, 2020.

City Council: ARTS/West to get streaming services, Council urged to renegotiate police contract

Athens City Council passed an ordinance Monday allowing the Service Safety Director to spend up to $120,000 from CARES Act funding to install fiber broadband in ARTS/West.

ARTS/West is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new equipment could help ARTS/West improve their streaming capabilities and allow for operation during the pandemic. 

“The funding from this is not coming from city income tax from our citizens,” Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said. “This is coming from the CARES Act relief fund.”

Council also passed an ordinance giving local historic designation to Seaman's Cardinal Supermarket and the Athens Downtown Historical District.

The local historic designation will require Uptown business owners to gain approval from Athens’ Historic Preservation Commission before making changes to the exterior of their building, according to a previous Post Report.

Kotses said those designations from Council allow for historic places to remain intact.

“I’m really excited that the government can help in the preservation of these types of structures, because if there’s not an opportunity to do that, we could lose a few more,” Kotses said.

Beth Amoriya, an Athens resident, asked that City Council renew the contract between the city of Athens and the police union for only one year instead of the usual three years. 

Amoriya said that amount of time would allow Council to review the budget, policies and practices that might impact the renewal of the contract in the future. 

Damon Krane, a member of Athens County Copwatch, asked Council to reopen negotiation for the police union contract so the renegotiation can be informed by the research Council pledged to do in a June resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.


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