The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

September 21, 2013

Proposed city budget includes money for sidewalks, paving, raises


Other paving projects

The other half of the $1.2 million a year in infrastructure money generated by the additional penny sales tax will be set aside for general paving projects through 2017, Barnes said.

District 4 Councilman Joseph Cannon, District 2 Council President Harold Wales, as well as other council members, have pressed for more sidewalks citywide and they see the additional sales tax as the ticket to get there.

The council has already identified five general paving projects on which to spend $900,000 generated for infrastructure in 2013 from the additional 1-cent sales tax plus $160,000 in annual gas tax revenue — a total of $1,060,000. Those projects will include $550,000 to extend Old Decatur Road ($300,000 to be contributed by the developer), $150,000 for paving at Whitfield and Winslow subdivisions, $150,000 for Hobbs, Marion and Clinton streets, $110,00 for paving Airport Road and $100,000 for sidewalks.


For the first time in three years, the mayor said city employees might be getting a raise. The proposed budget includes a raise — a total cost of $575,000 split by the city and Athens Utilities, Marks said.


Parks and Recreation Director Ben Wiley told council members Friday more than 450 residents used the fields at the Sportsplex of U.S. 31 this summer for youth baseball and softball, and the increasing numbers mean the city will have to add more ball fields soon, which the council has previously discussed. Planning for a recreation center and more parking needs to get underway, the mayor said.

The council is expected to vote on the budget at their 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday in the municipal courtroom of the Athens Police Department on Hobbs Street.

For more on what the budget will mean for residents, see the results of the council meeting online at on Tuesday or in Wednesday’s print edition of The News Courier.


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