As Mayor I am proud of the accomplishments of our administration and I hope to serve a second term so that we can build on the solid foundations that have been laid. I am most proud of having built a strong team of people who think creatively and work proactively with skill and dedication to our city and its residents.
In terms of infrastructure, some of the improvements we have made in Athens include:
• The building of the State Route 682 roundabout, and redesign, repair of the Richland Avenue Bridge, which has resulted in safer traffic flow.
• The construction of an access road on East State St. to Holzer Clinic.
• The upgrade of the Mulligan-Curtis Street water system, using ARRA grant money, to decrease water line breaks.
• Rebuilding the city’s road salt bin on West State St., providing environmentally safer storage.
• Implemented structural upgrades of the Athens Fire Department Columbus Road station for safe storage of our city’s fire equipment.
• In conjunction with OU on their Chiller loop, repaired E. Union Street water lines, opened Jeff Hill to vehicular traffic and installed additional street lighting for safer pedestrian travel, as requested by Ohio University Student Senate.
• Water treatment plant improvements with the brine lagoon repairs.
• The replacement of storm sewer and widening of Herrold Avenue.
• Rebuilt Carpenter Street, including restoration to brick.
City Services improvements:
Hiring a City planner to assist in our city’s smart development has;
• The completion of the City Ash tree Inventory and Sidewalk survey.
• Improved mapping of and policy on the Floodplain.
• The development and adoption of a City of Athens Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to give my administration guidance on placement of additional bike lanes, pedestrian crosswalks and sidewalks in high traffic areas and extensions of our bike path.
My administration pursued and was awarded a series of Safe Routes to Schools grants to increase safety and visibility of school crossings around Athens Middle and elementary schools.
We formalized the Porter Hall Pedestrian Crossing on Richland Avenue, making it a legal pedestrian crossing and adding additional signage for safety.
During my second year in office, I consolidated the Athens City’s Street Department with the Water and Sewer departments into the new Engineering and Public Works Department. recognizing that to make efficient use of our city’s dollars, road improvements must be linked to the water and sewer infrastructure below them.
To increase our interconnectivity with the rest of Ohio and beyond, we applied for and were awarded a grant for the inter-city Go Bus system from Athens to Columbus and Cincinnati. This grant is administrated by Hocking, Athens, Perry Community Action, a local organization working with the city to improve our community.
City code enforcement improvements included establishing a contractor registry to track the various service contractors operating within Athens and increasing the frequency of rental inspections from biannually to annually in order to encourage improved rental stock.;
Environmental improvements include:
• Adoption of sand as an alternative to cinders for roadway management of ice.
• We added impermeable surface standards to our zoning code to reduce storm water runoff and in preparation for a storm water management plan.
• Created a Green Fleet policy and initiated an energy efficiency upgrade of our city buildings to reduce our carbon footprint and energy costs. This included adoption of LEED standards for future city buildings’ repair and construction.
• Installed solar panels above Athens Community Center parking lot to offset the center’s electrical use
• Contracting with Solarvision in the construction of the Community Center Solar Panels.
Quality of life improvements:
• Using Grant funding, the city built a canoe access ramp to the Hocking River at West State St. Park.
• Installed second water tap at the Athens community gardens to address its continued growth and a water fountain at the Sells Park trailhead.
• Based on the popularity of our West State St. Dog Park, we created an additional one on the eastside.
• We have completed the city portion of a Northwest spur to the Hock Hocking Adena Bike Path, connecting it across the Hocking River to Armitage road and State Rte 682.
For better transparency and accountability:
Throughout my term, I have held quarterly Town Hall meetings to address city issues, hear concerns, and take questions from my fellow community members.(The town hall meeting cover a wide range of issues energy, planning and city services to diversity and civility in our city.)
We have upgraded the City’s web site to include online resources, including forms, documents, and streaming video of public events. We have plans to incorporate use of Facebook and Twitter to encourage other avenues for dialogue.
For your support I thank you. If you have any questions or issues do not hesitate to call me at my office 592-3338.