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Athens City Council meets on the Tuesday after Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2022.

City Council meets to discuss Dairy Barn Arts Center’s new sign

Athens City Council met Monday to discuss two ordinances about the Dairy Barn Arts Center’s new sign and appropriations to the water fund, as well as to hear from community members about the protection of reproductive rights. 

According to a previous Post report, the Dairy Barn Arts Center will use a Title 14 permit to replace its current sign on city property. The new sign will be 62 square feet.

The body passed the ordinance. 

The body also suspended its rules to vote on an ordinance amending a previous ordinance to authorize construction engineering for the water treatment plant improvement project. The rules were suspended to allow the contract to begin and start the repair. 

That new ordinance will appropriate $345,000 from the unappropriated balance to the water fund. 

Councilman Alan Swank, D-4th, said the original ordinance allocated $235,000 for the project.

Mayor Steve Patterson said the contractor realized there was more handiwork involved in the project than initially expected, as opposed to mechanical work, which is why they would need more money for the contract. 

The body passed the ordinance. 

During the community speak-out portion of the meeting, the body heard from a couple of residents with concerns for reproductive rights in Athens. 

Louise Stewart, an English Ph.D. OU student said she attended the meeting to “beg” the body to advocate for self-determination when it comes to reproductive rights. 

“All I want is the same degree of freedom, the same rights to self-determination, the same sovereignty over my own body and life as my mother enjoyed throughout all of her reproductive years,” Stewart said. “It’s not fair and it’s not right for our elders in power to sit back silently and let this happen to us.”

Saraquoia Bryant, a member of the Ohio Community Rights Network, said she was familiar with Council’s procedure and is willing to help the Athenians for Bodily Autonomy get their proposed resolution to the body this week. 

Bryant said she hopes one or two of the members of the body can help Athens pass a law to give people control of their own bodies.


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