About 3 percent increase in water, sanitation fees coming to City of Athens

Press release

ATHENS – The City of Athens has updated its water, sewer, and sanitation fees for the 2019 fiscal year which officially began, October 1, 2018.

Water and sewer fees have increased by roughly 3 percent for all customers. This is part of a five year plan enacted in 2015 to ensure that rates were sufficient to continue to provide quality water and sewer services to customers. Customers can expect the cost per 1,000 gallons of water to rise from $3.15 to $3.24. Sewer rates, which is based on water consumption, will rise from $5.89 to $6.07 per 1,000 gallons of water use. Also, bulk water rates will rise from $9.04 to $9.30 per 1,000 gallons of water use.

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Nichols meets with local superintendents

Press release

ATHENS — Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) met with local superintendents from Henderson County. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss education issues in preparation for the 86th Legislature which convenes in January.

“The Legislature faces many challenges this session, and we cannot make good decisions unless we are listening closely to those we represent,” said Nichols. “Education is and always will be one of the most important issues we face as a state.”

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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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