Approving a new agreement with the Limestone County Sheriff's Office on housing people arrested by Athens Police Department and upping mileage reimbursement rates for city employees were among the main items on the agenda for the Athens City Council during its meeting on Sept. 14.

The Council unanimously approved entering into the new agreement with LCSO and the Limestone County Commission for a prisoner and jail contract. Offenders arrested by Athens Police Department are transferred to the Limestone County Jail after being booked.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said this agreement comes up for renewal every three years. He said that while the cost of the contract went up “a little bit” in 2017, the terms this year included the same price that the City of Athens has paid since the last update.

The Council also unanimously approved switching to a new model for reimbursing city employees and officials for mileage incurred while driving a personal vehicle for city business.

The new model copies the one used by the Internal Revenue Service and currently sits at 57.5 cents per mile. Any changes to the reimbursement rate by the IRS in the future will also be mimicked.

POW/MIA

During the meeting Marks made a proclamation observing prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. The national POW/MIA recognition day was Sept. 18.

The day is often recognized by having local restaurants set aside a table where no one else is allowed to sit in honor of members of the military who did not make it home and remain unaccounted for. Marks, a veteran, said he read the proclamation because the empty tables were unfeasible this year due to COVID-19.

“I am honored to do so,” he said.

Whole again

District 4 representative Dana Henry officially joined the Council for the Sept. 14 meeting. Frank Travis, the representative of District 3 and Council president, bid the other members rise in honor of Henry's election while she was handed a bouquet of flowers as a welcome gift.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone, and I appreciate the insights,” Henry said.

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