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Solveig Spjeldnes joins the Athens City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, as one of its newest members.

City Council: Contract reopener for city police union discussed

Athens City Council met Monday evening to discuss details of a possible contract reopener for the city’s police union.

The ordinance would approve the contract reopener with the Athens Fraternal Order of Police, which includes a 2.5% increase effective on the first full pay of 2022 and a 2.25% increase effective on the first full pay of 2023 for all patrol officers, lieutenants and communication officers working with the union.

In addition, another ordinance was proposed to approve a one-time retention payment of $1,000 for those union members, with a clawback provision — in which the payment must be repaid to the city — placed on officers who leave the department for any reason other than retirement or because of a disability while the contract is in place. 

The body also heard ordinances concerning budget and funding, including a $155,000 payment for softening salt used in the Athens Water Treatment Plant and an authorization for Andy Stone, city service safety director, to enter into a contract with the lowest investor or use funds from one of the city’s cooperative purchasing programs for a new restroom facility at the West State Street park. The current estimated cost is $250,000, though the city is trying to lower that price. 

Council also discussed an ordinance that, if passed, would increase an expenditure from the general fund for the fire department to a maximum of $56,000 to help fund structural repairs.

The body also reminded the audience that there will be an open house Jan. 19 concerning the creation of a new fire house on Stimson Avenue. The open house will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Athens Community Center.


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