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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City of Athens collection station to close

Press release

At their Monday, January 8, 2018, meeting, the Athens City Council voted to close the city’s collection station. This decision was made in concern of the cost to maintain and operate the facility, the regulatory liability that comes with maintaining the facility, and the recognition that there are other facilities within the county that can provide the same service to residents.

City staff is currently evaluating the steps it will take to close the facility.

“We want to ensure that the closing of the facility is done in a manner that ensures Athens residents are well aware of the change,” said Managing Director of Public Services Ryan Adams. “Our priority will be to ensure all residents are aware of their options for properly disposing of their garbage, brush and bulky items.”

Until a closing date is set and communicated, the facility will remain open according to its regular schedule. Residents with any questions are encouraged to call City Hall at 903-675-5131 or email

Cain Center project to move forward; council meeting set to discuss funding

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

We learned this week the Cain Center rehabilitation project will continue, but there is still debate among Athens City Council members about how much to spend.

The council discussed the issue during its regular meeting Monday night, which saw a standing-room-only audience and nearly an hour of citizen comments, almost all of which were in support of moving forward with the Cain Center.

The turnout was fueled by a split in the council last month when Mayor Monte Montgomery and Councilwoman Toni Garrard Clay wanted to continue forward with the project, while Councilmen Ed McCain and Robert Gross argued to stop work and send the question to voters in the form of a bond election.

The confusion stalled the project.

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