The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

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October 23, 2013

Festivals bring revenue, quality of life to Athens

(Continued)

ATHENS —

And then the all-important infrastructure — namely roads and bridges. Recently, the city received $1.6 million for 12 projects through ATRIP (Alabama Transportation and Rehabilitation Improvement Program).

“This is our first time to qualify for ATRIP,” Marks said. “This allows us to actually build and develop roads.”

He said the key to winning the grant — Limestone County and Elkmont also received money — was the one-cent sales tax increase the City Council approved last November and went into effect in January.

“If the sales tax increase hadn't passed, we would even have been able to apply (for the ATRIP money),” Marks said.

He also cited the success of the festivals to the dozens of volunteers and volunteer organizations, calling them the “lifeblood of the community.”

“Our charge is real clear to keep building a quality of life,” Marks said. “We'll never be a Huntsville or a Madison. We need to be the best we can be and we're doing well with that.”

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