Kiwanis Park is one of Athens’ most treasured parks. Whether it’s the splash pad that you or your children love, the famous rocket ship, or the pavilion space ideal for memory making birthday parties or family gatherings, Kiwanis Park truly offers something for the whole family to enjoy. For that reason, the City of Athens, Kiwanis Club, and Keep Athens Beautiful have come together to see that Kiwanis Park receive a few much-needed improvements.
The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) has announced the recipients of its annual Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA). Athens Economic Development Corporation submitted a process which transformed the loss of a biotech operation into an opportunity for growth and investment. The entry was the winner in the category of Communities with 5,001—15,000 in Population. Winners were recognized at an awards luncheon held in their honor Monday, August 21, at SEDC’s annual conference in Charlotte, NC.
“Economic Developers in the South are some of the best in the business,” said SEDC 2017 Chairman Robert E. Leak, Jr. “This award goes to communities that exemplify the highest level of economic development professionalism. We are proud to have them in the SEDC region.”
Henderson County is standing by to help evacuees from Houston if needed, according to county officials.
“We have assets that are on standby, but have not been requested to be used or deployed by the state as of this time,” said Henderson County Emergency Management Coordinator Joy Kimbrough.
“I am participating in preparedness calls at a regional and state level, as scheduled, daily,” said Kimbrough. “Calls will continue until the storm threat is controlled or over, or until the state discontinues the calls.”
Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders, who is also the Director of Emergency Services, said Monday morning the county had also not received any individual requests for shelter over the weekend.
Sanders said the county is ready to help.
“It is very sad for the people down south,” he said, “it is devastating.”
Kimbrough said evacuees are being referred to 2-1-1 Texas for information on transportation, shelter, and donations.
The Athens City Council will not be using a search firm to find its next city manager.
The city manager’s job became open last month when Philip Rodriguez resigned to take a similar position in Colorado. The city has contracted with Gary Whittle of Texas First Group to serve as the interim city manager.
Whittle said his firm will be helping the city with the recruitment process as well.
“Kerry Sweatt, principal in the firm, has successfully assisted other cities in their recruitment process, with the most recent being the City of Dayton and Karnes City,” Whittle said. “Even though Texas First Group is not a search firm, Mr. Sweatt feels he is an integral part of the City just as the interim position he provides, therefore, his assistance is a part of his agreement at no additional charge. He has over 50 years of experience in local government and has been a partner, and now sole owner, in Texas First Group for about 18 years.”
Whittle said the next step for the City Council is develop a city manager profile to use in the recruiting process. He said officials hope to have a new hire in four to five months.
David Conner this week announced his candidacy for Henderson County Pct. 2 Commissioner.
“With Wade McKinney’s decision not to run for the Precinct 2 Commissioner’s seat, I feel it is an opportunity for me to get involved and be of service to the county that I have lived and worked in for most of my life,” he said.
David is a 38-year resident of the precinct and has been the owner/operator of ACTT Equipment Services in Gun Barrel City for the past 20 years. David and his business specialize in tractor and heavy equipment repair and operations. Prior to going into business for himself, David was the shop manager for Rector Equipment in Dallas, Texas for 10 years. David has a lifelong passion for history, tractors and heavy equipment. He recently founded and is President of the Tri County Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum which is located in Mabank, Texas. He also serves as the President of the Cedar Creek Tractor and Engine Club. David’s other passion is being a long time volunteer with the Tri County Soccer Association. He has been coaching area youth for 25 years and is currently coaching one of his grand daughters. David served on the Tri County Soccer Association Board of Directors as their President for 23 years before retiring from that position in 2012.