Athens City Council met Monday to hear from committees, including the Transportation Committee and the Committee of the Whole, who discussed improvement projects and the Veterans’ Administration medical center in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The Transportation Committee discussed filling out an application for municipal bridge project funding. The application would be sent to the Ohio Department of Transportation, or ODOT, which would provide up to $2 million in federal funds for bridge replacement or rehabilitation projects open to vehicular traffic.
Councilman Jeffrey Risner, D-2nd Ward, said the annual bridge evaluations are being completed, and the Stimson Avenue and Dairy Lane bridges are expected to be eligible for funding.
Service Safety Director Andrew Stone said the eligibility of bridges expected to receive funding is rated on a 0-9 scale, and bridges that are rated four and below are eligible for funding. Stone said the Stimson Avenue bridge project will most likely be prioritized as long as it is eligible for funding.
The Transportation Committee also discussed the West Washington sidewalk and safety improvements project. The project includes making spot repairs to the West Washington Street sidewalk between Shafer and Lancaster Street. The project also includes managing vegetation on the street.
The Committee of the Whole discussed the Chillicothe VA Medical Center.
City Council President Chris Knisley said the administration is proposing closing the Chillicothe clinic, which sees approximately 20,000 veterans per year and employs over 1,400 Chillicothe residents.
“I think what is most important is the service to the veterans, and what that might jeopardize by the closing of the facility,” Knisley said.