HCNotes: City plans to save parts of hospital for posterity; save bricks for residents

The old Henderson County Memorial Hospital took another step toward being torn down this week, but this time with a nod toward remembering history.

Monday night, the Athens City Council gave its approval to a Request for Proposals (RFP) from the city. An RFP is a request for business proposals, in this case the demolition and removal of the old hospital.

Built into this particular RFP is language that would save the hospital chandelier and cupola, plus save 500 bricks for residents who want a piece of the hospital to remember.

Details for how the bricks will be shared have not been finalized at this time.

Actual demolition of the hospital is not expected to sometime after the New Year.

The work toward tearing down the hospital began back in June and has included the city becoming owners of the property in order to expedite the process.

— Michael V. Hannigan

Observations after football bi-district playoff weekend

Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan

By Michael V. Hannigan

Four Henderson County football teams went into the bi-district weekend still playing, but only two came out the other side.

Congratulations to bi-district champions Athens and Malakoff.

And even though they lost Saturday, congratulations also go to Brownsboro and Athens Christian Preparatory Academy for great seasons that ended in playoff berths.

Continue reading “Observations after football bi-district playoff weekend”

FM 317 will remain blocked until the spring

TxDOT file photo of the washout at FM 317.
TxDOT file photo of the washout at FM 317.

By Michael V. Hannigan

You asked us what the schedule was for fixing FM 317 in Athens, so we asked TxDOT … but I don’t think you are going to like the answer.

According to TxDOT spokesperson Kathi White, repairs are still several months away.

In a statement that was released to area news outlets Friday, TxDOT said:

Work on design plans for repairs to FM 317 in Henderson County just outside of Athens is nearing completion. The roadway washed out about three miles east of SH 31 last spring due to excessive rain and has remained closed to traffic.

Once the plans for a permanent repair are finalized and approved, the project will likely go to bid in February. Construction should get underway in the spring with repairs taking several months to complete before the roadway returns to normal traffic flow.

Stabilization work to prevent additional damage to the road was conducted last summer under emergency contract. The work was coordinated with the Corp of Engineers and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Traffic detours will stay in place until the road is rebuilt.

So there you go. Unfortunately, many of you will continue that scenic detour down FM 2495 until spring.

Weekly Podcast – Nov. 6

Weekly Podcast, Nov. 6

I. Bonds approved

A. ATHENS — Voters in Athens ISD approved a $59.9 million bond Tuesday. The unofficial tally is: For 1,483; Against 996.

B. MABANK — A $10 million bond for Mabank ISD was approved by voters Tuesday in a landslide. The unofficial vote tally was 863-309.

II. Facebook is so awesome it stinks

A. From a Marketing Land post about why business pages are reaching fewer people: “Much of the drop-off can be blamed on increased competition for space on the News Feed, with Facebook adding nearly half a billion users in the last three years, and the fact that there are now 45 million business Pages, all vying for people’s limited attention spans.”

III. Veterans Day

A. Veterans Day is next Wednesday.

IV. Shout Outs

A. Michael: Malakoff Elementary School Blue Ribbon Campus

B. Garrett: Trinity Valley Electric Coop donation to Keep Athens Beautiful

C. Jeff: Kippi Harraid

Thumbs Up: TVCC’s Dr. Helen Reid named to nursing committee; Phi Theta Kappa new members; TVCC ranks high in nation.

HCNotes: Observations on new Athens city budget

wpid-wpid-city-of-athens-4-color-logo.jpg-150x139.jpegBy Michael V. Hannigan

Here are 6 observations I have after the Athens City Council approved the city’s 2015-2016 budget and tax rate last week:

– The tax rate remains the same at .645140 per $100 valuation. This will be the most important item to many people and some won’t even read past this.

– The budget was approved without fanfare, which was in stark contrast to the controversy stirred in August when the city announced it was going to cut funding to the Cain Center. The City Council changed its mind and put the funding back in the budget, so the audience for last Monday’s council meeting was quiet.  Continue reading “HCNotes: Observations on new Athens city budget”