Athens City Council met in committees Monday to discuss providing equipment to ARTS/West in order to increase its streaming capabilities. 

ARTS/West is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said funding from the CARES Act could help the city purchase streaming equipment so that ARTS/West could continue to operate during the pandemic. 

Councilwoman Beth Clodfelter, D-At Large, said those new streaming capabilities could be useful to ARTS/West after they are able to fully reopen.

“I applaud the city for finding a way to use the CARES money to help ARTS/West, but also to be beneficial for a long time even after COVID ends,” Clodfelter said.

Councilman Sam Crowl, D-3rd Ward, said the auditor’s office has received the second round of CARES Act relief funding, which totals $884,211.16.

Council also discussed the purchasing of three freezers that would be necessary for the storage of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Patterson said the city of Athens will cover one-third of the cost of those freezers, while Athens County will cover two-thirds. The freezers will be maintained and stored by the Athens City County Health Department.

Councilman Peter Kotses, D-At Large, discussed allowing the Service-Safety director to have authority over street closures.

“Street closures are council’s domain … this request is for any logistical needs that may arise that administration might need to act on between now and the end of the year,” Kotses said. 

This would give the Service-Safety Director the authority to make decisions about street closures quickly if needed. Kotses said the latest this authority would be until Jan. 30.

@kyraleckrone

kl290617@ohio.edu