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City Council meets together on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, as Councilman Alan Swank, D-4th Ward, listens in on the Council's topics at hand.

City Council: Athens residents may soon opt into lower waste rates

Athens City Council met Monday evening and addressed proposed legislation to adjust current waste rates and allow renters and homeowners the option to choose a one-can rate for their property. 

The current rate for one-can output is $15.23 per month, which would be raised to $15.43. The two-can rate would be raised from $22.05 to $22.25 per household. Households with one to three occupants, however, may choose to lower their monthly waste output in exchange for the lower one-can rate. Residents would be able to opt into the lower rate at any time. 

For every 100 occupants who switch, the unit rate would be raised $0.20 to minimize impact to the city’s budget. Any additional bags beyond the can’s capacity would be charged a fee of $5.25. The ordinance would last one year if approved.

Transportation Committee

The Transportation Committee discussed the initiation of the disposal of two municipal court vehicles. The request was brought forward from the court and requires Council to approve an ordinance stipulating the disposal. 

It is unclear if the vehicles will be replaced.

Finance and Personnel Committee 

The Finance and Personnel Committee brought forward an ongoing conversation with the city’s fire department regarding restructuring the agency. This would mean shifting from three captains to one, following the expected departure of two current captains. Additionally, the plan would add three more lieutenant positions. The restructuring would ultimately increase the department by one person. 

Council must also vote to approve the annual renewal of the city’s membership to the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia, which amounts to $90,000.

It also plans to accept and appropriate a grant awarded from the Kleinpenny Educational Fund to ARTS/West in the amount of $4,000. The grant will be used for after-school art supplies and the music lending library. 

The committee presented multiple desired appropriations. The first will allocate $35,000 for additional repairs to the Wastewater Treatment Plant Oakmont Lift Station, which is experiencing sinkage. It hopes to also appropriate the $4,000 ARTS/West grant to the Recreation Fund. City Auditor Kathy Hecht also presented the need for the appropriation of $100,000 to the city general fund for income tax refunds. 

@sophielisey

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