Athens City Council votes to close collection site

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens City Council voted to close the City’s collection site Monday night.

The action came for two reasons:

  • State rules call for community collection sites to be registered with the TCEQ, however that has not been the case in Athens in the past. Complying with this requirement could bring the site under closer scrutiny from the state and officials worry that could lead to liability issues.
  • The collection site does not support itself. Through fees, the collection site brought in about $14,000 last year, but it cost $55,000 to operate the site. That’s a $40,000 tax subsidy to keep the site open, which was something council members did not want to see continue.

The City staff worked with Republic Services to come up with alternative plans for curbside bulk trash pickup, but the council decided not to go that route because of concerns it would be complicated for residents and the price could escalate after an initial three-year contract.

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Get your tickets now for Fiddlers Shindig

Getting The Fiddler ready to move. (Tim Howard photo)

Press release

The historic statue of the Old Fiddler has stood on the lawn of the Athens courthouse square for more than 30 years, but has been deteriorating and needs repair before it is lost to future generations of Athens visitors. To prevent that, ‘Save the Fiddler’ is the latest project by the Henderson County Arts Council (501c3) and some of the funds necessary to get the fiddler bronzed have already been raised. The HCAC is hosting this all ages fundraiser dinner and concert, Friday evening, Jan. 12, in the Student Union Building at Trinity Valley Community College.

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City of Athens offers Downtown Façade Improvement Program again

This downtown property: 221 E. Tyler St. and owner, Jon Garrett, received funding from the 2017 Downtown Façade Improvement Program to do major improvements to this property. Improvements included mortar joint repair, tuck pointing, waterproofing, painting, and awning repair. (Courtesy photo)

Press release

For the second consecutive year, the City of Athens is pleased to offer the Downtown Façade Improvement Program to qualifying downtown property owners. In Fiscal Year 2017, the Athens City Council approved the creation of the Downtown Façade Improvement Program. This new and exciting program is designed to help improve aesthetic qualities and preserve historic structures in the Athens downtown area.

“The first year of the program was a huge success,” said Community Services Coordinator Adrianna Hinds. “The City received over 10 applications for requests for improvements ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 and, after administrative review, was able to fund 6 of them.” She added, “we look forward to another successful year in 2018 and encourage downtown property owners to take advantage of this funding opportunity.”

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Get your tickets now for the Athens Chamber Gala set for Jan. 19

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

It’s party time in Athens.

The annual Athens Chamber of Commerce Gala will be held Friday, Jan. 19, at the Athens Country Club. The cocktail hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. and the live auction at 8:30 p.m. The theme for this year is “Run for the Roses,” from the Kentucky Derby.

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Three Kings Day at FBC Athens aims to bridge the racial divide

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

What do you get when you combined three 8-foot cakes, crowns, toys, pinatas and a camel?

Three Kings Day at First Baptist Church in Athens, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 6. Event organizers hope it will help begin to bridge the gap between cultures in the City. It is a part of the church’s “Manana Today” outreach.

The celebration will mark “the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus.”

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