City Council: the organization discusses a project of $ 361,000, other funds allocated

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On Monday evening, Athens city council met in committee to discuss city-wide improvements estimated at over $ 361,000 as well as numerous transfers of dollars between funds.

The municipal services and security committee first met to discuss a project to update the doors and security systems in all buildings in the city. The update would include replacing exterior doors to improve energy efficiency in addition to installing a sweep-activated security system, Athens Mayor Steve Patterson said.

When exploration of the project began, the cost was estimated to be between $ 150,000 and $ 200,000, but has now been increased to $ 361,000, said City Councilor Sarah Grace, D-At Large. This increase is due to the addition of more doors and buildings to the project than initially included, Patterson said.

In addition, under the current unapproved contract with the project suppliers, the city would be required to pay the travel, accommodation and living expenses of those who install the gates.

Following a series of questions from various board members, Patterson agreed to gather more information to report to the board at a later date.

The city services and safety committee also discussed using $ 500,000 in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, to start a fiber Internet installation project. The project would unfold in five phases, Patterson said.

This would allow the city to create higher connectivity between its buildings and begin to move away from using microwave technology for broadband, he said. It’s also possible that free wifi will be available on Court Street if the project goes ahead, Patterson said.

Following the municipal and security services, the finance and personnel committee met to discuss the transfer of several funds to the ARPA fund and the cancellation to finance the revenue gaps. The committee addressed concerns that the recent increase in charges for garbage was insufficient to cover the revenue gaps in this sector.

Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht reminded Council that while fee increases will compensate for lost revenue, it will take time and the city must be able to pay staff throughout. the year, which requires the transfer of funds.

The finance and personnel committee also discussed the allocation of $ 90,000 in dues to the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia and $ 2,800 for the installation of six new parking meters in the city’s parking garage.

@ AnnaMillar16

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