Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 21, 2014

City to discuss AMWA

Tonight’s meeting begins with attorney consultation

Rich Flowers
Athens Daily Review

Athens — The city of Athens weighs its options concerning the dispute with the Athens Municipal Water Authority at a special meeting on Tuesday evening.

 The meeting gets underway 5:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers of the City Hall Annex, 501 N. Pinkerton Street, Athens. On the agenda are items that could result in an election that will decide the future of the AMWA.

  The council begins with an executive session to consult with an attorney about the pending litigation between the city and the water authority. After the executive session, the council can take action concerning the suit.

  The agenda also includes consideration on whether the petition filed by AMWA concerning abolishment of the authority is adequate and whether to appeal the ordinance passed by the council to abolish the authority. The council first took action to dissolve the authority on December 23, and passed a second reading of the item on January 13.

In reaction to the council’s decision to disband the AMWA, the authority began gathering signatures opposing the action.

The Texas Local Government Code states that immediately after the presentation of the petition, the governing body shall reconsider the ordinance. If the governing body does not repeal the ordinance, the governing body shall submit it to a popular vote at the next municipal election, or at a special election ordered for that purpose.

 The final agenda item on Tuesday, is consideration and possible action on the calling of a municipal election regarding the abolishment of AMWA.

The ordinance does not take effect unless a majority of the votes received in the election favor the ordinance.

If the council votes on Tuesday to call an election, the action would be in time to get the issue on the May 10 municipal election ballot.