Athens City Council reconsiders funding for Cain Center project

Question of restoring the Cain Center could go to voters as a bond election

(UPDATE: Information added regarding what would happen to the Certificates of Obligation if a bond election is called.)

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

A change of direction by the Athens City Council could send the Cain Center rehabilitation project to the voters for approval, Mayor Monte Montgomery told area reporters Monday afternoon.

According to Montgomery, during a workshop meeting last week council members discussed concerns over the budget impact of not only the ongoing cost of running the Cain Center, but also the cost of the debt for the construction.

Because of those concerns, members of the council asked staff to explore partnering with another entity — either the hospital or the county — to defray the cost. If that doesn’t work, they would like to explore putting the Cain Center question to the voters in the form of a bond election instead of paying for the project with the previously planned Certificates of Obligation (COs).

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Intersection of SH31 and FM1616 to get traffic signal

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The intersection of State Highway 31 and FM 1616 in Athens will be getting a traffic signal, according to a TxDOT spokesperson.

The decision comes following a TxDOT traffic study conducted at the request of the city.

TxDOT’s Kathi White said, “The results show that a signal is warranted. TxDOT is currently beginning the process to get this project designed and funded.”

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Kicking off a new Athens Leadership Institute class

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

Wednesday night, I began a year-long journey with 19 other men and women.

We were introduced to each other and the folks we’d be working with in a beautiful outdoor setting just north of Athens. There were laughs, hamburgers, drinks, cake and even Blue Bell ice cream.

It was a lot of fun.

But through the jokes and photos, one sentence kept floating through my mind.

“The Athens Leadership Institute (ALI) is a program of the Athens Chamber of Commerce that endeavors to train both existing and emerging leaders in the knowledge and skills they will need to make a real difference in the community in which they live.”

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All AISD campuses meet accountability standard

In this file photo taken this past May, the Athens High School class of 2018 celebrates graduation in the new gymnasium. Athens ISD was assigned a districtwide grade of B, all campuses “met standard,” and seven academic distinctions were awarded under the Texas Education Agency’s new accountability system. (Toni Garrard Clay/photo)

By Toni Garrard Clay/AISD Communications Coordinator

As has been the case for many years now, all five of Athens ISD’s campuses have “met standard,” according to the Texas Education Agency. Furthermore, the district as a whole was scored a “B.”

The grade is a result of the state agency’s new A-F Public School Accountability System, which uses pages of complicated calculations to reduce thousands of data points — mainly STAAR test results and end-of-course exams — into a single letter grade.

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