The reasons why the City of Athens is facing a tight budget

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens City Council is expected to vote on the proposed budget and tax rate for the 2019 fiscal year Monday night.

The tax rate will stay the same as last year. That part was easy for the council.

City officials have been clear that the budgeting side of the equation hasn’t been as easy this cycle.

“We have a unique budget,” Mayor Monte Montgomery said recently. “It is really tight. We’ve had to really tighten our belts.”

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CPS training kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month

CPS investigators discuss their training at The Henderson County Help Center Thursday morning. (Michael V. Hannigan photo)

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

I watched the scary man lean back in his chair and tap the pistol on a table littered with poker chips, beer cans, whiskey bottles and what looked like might be narcotics.

His scowl was intimidating.

Two bigger, more frightening, men argued with a pair of women I couldn’t see around a corner. The women had shown up unexpectedly and started asking questions about children.

When The Scowl stood up with his gun, picked up a baggie of pills and disappeared into a back room, I got really nervous.

But this was training and the bad guys were just playing roles — albeit playing their parts very well — all in the name of safeguarding children and those sworn to protect them.

Welcome to the world of a CPS investigator.

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City of Athens extends deadline for 2018 Downtown Facade Improvement Program

Press release

The City of Athens announces an extension for the application deadline for the 2018 Downtown Façade Improvement Program. The deadline has been extended from March 1st to Friday, March 16.

The program is grant-based and available to property owners who own buildings located in the Downtown Façade Improvement Program Downtown Area, which includes the nine blocks of downtown, Athens Alley and a few other areas adjacent to the square.

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Meet and greet scheduled for new Athens City Manager

Press release

The City Council of the City of Athens is pleased to announce the hiring of Elizabeth Borstad as City Manager for the City of Athens. The City Council unanimously voted to approve the hiring on Monday, January 22, 2018.

The public is cordially invited to a “Meet and Greet” on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 4-6 p.m. at the East Texas Arboretum & Botanical Society Woman’s Building located at 1601 Patterson Road Athens, Texas 75751.

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Councilwoman floats idea for library at the Cain Center

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens City Council approved the budget and direction for the Cain Center rehabilitation project last Friday, but also set aside 30 days to explore a brand new idea for the center.

Athens council makes decision on Cain Center project

Councilwoman Toni Garrard Clay said, “This is going to be something out of the blue for a lot of people.”

She then went on to “float the idea … of the top floor of the Cain Center becoming a modern, vibrant library.”

Clay chairs the Henderson County Library Advisory Board and said the Public Library Fund (a fundraising arm for the library) has been exploring a new home for the Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Memorial Library.

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