Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

October 23, 2013

Better year for City

Medical insurance poses good and bad news

Athens — Despite a decrease in sales tax allocation revenue in August, the city is experiencing a better year financially than they have recently.

City Director of Finance David Hopkins said at a special meeting of the city council on Wednesday that when everything is finalized for the fiscal year that ran through September, Athens is in pretty good shape.

“As of August, the general fund was still $519,000 in revenue, exceeding expense,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said the city still has year-end accruals to make, which will reduce that figure. Sales-tax allocations are positive. Hopkins projected Athens to be about $256,000 over budget for the year.

“Which is good,” Hopkins said. “We haven’t had that in a long time.”

Hotel motel taxes have reached $216,987, and property tax collections are about 98 percent, which is about normal for this time of year, Hopkins said.

“We’re .17 percent above last year, and last year was one of the high years for us,” Hopkins said.

The Council discussed upcoming agenda items concerning employee medical insurance. On Oct. 28, the city will name a broker to shop for the policy. The current broker of record is Creative Benefits. The council also discussed renewal of the medical insurance contract.

“On this one, we have good news and we have bad news,” City Administrator Pam Burton said. “We want to recommend we renew the contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield. They’re proposing a zero-percent rate increase, which is great. However, Obamacare is going to require a 3.5 percent increase regarding the rate which goes to fund Obamacare.”

The 3.5 percent Obamacare hike will go into effect Jan. 1.

The council also discussed a proposed change of the interlocal agreement with Henderson County for housing prisoners in the county jail. The county is proposing that the city begin paying for medical care of any Class C misdemeanor offenders Athens sends to the facility.

Those offenses would be on the scale of public intoxication, and account for a small percentage of those jailed. If a person is jailed with a Class C misdemeanor and a more serious charge, the county will continue to pick up the cost of medical care.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 2726192_300x300.jpg Darin Karl found Thursday on Cedar Creek Lake

    The body of a 42-year-old man who had been missing in Cedar Creek Lake was recovered on Thursday.
    The drowning victim was identified as Darin Lynn Karl of Kemp. According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, Karl and his nephew were fishing near Cedar Creek Country Club when the boat overturned, ejecting the men. 

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD approves moving monthly meeting, additional drug testing

    Discussion on meal prices for the 2014-15 school year was pulled from Thursday's Athens Independent School District Board of Trustees agenda but other items were approved that will bring about change in the district.
    By unanimous decision, the school board approved changes to the scheduled date for its monthly meetings; additional drug testing on the high school campus and modification to the graduation policy.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 drugs.tif Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 26

    On Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Athens Police Department and Keep Athens Beautiful will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, giving the public its seventh opportunity in four years to prevent pill abuse and theft.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif Feud between Tool VFDs extends to city council

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Would Lake Athens residents suffer if city controls water?

    Members of Lake Athens Property Owners Association have been watching the dispute between the City of Athens and the Athens Municipal Water Authority uncertain of how this will affect their future.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Hot issue

    The two volunteer fire departments in Tool have been dueling for 11 years. The feud between the two departments started in 2003, when the citizens of Tool voted to establish Emergency Service District No. 4. According to reports, this was about the same time the Tool Volunteer Fire Department was established.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Surplus property to be moved or demolished

    Athens Independent School District purchased property at 404 Royall Street during its March school board meeting with the intent to square off property previously purchased by the district.
    During Thursday's school board meeting, a unanimous decision was made to designate the property as surplus and advertise the home to be moved or demolished.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0077.JPG Taste of Home Cooking School

    The Taste of Home Cooking School was held Thursday at the Cain Center. Hundreds attended the events that was sponsored by Cole A/C and the Athens Daily Review.
     

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • ADR logo.tif City, AMWA differ on future management of water supply

    The 57-year relationship between the Athens Municipal Water Authority and the City of Athens grew stormy in 2013 because of a disagreement over who should pay certain bills.
    The difference-of-opinion led to the Authority filing suit against the city last December, and the city responding by setting the wheels in motion that slated a May 10 election to decide whether to abolish AMWA.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 Easter.jpg Excited and ready

    Lexie and Isabella Hawkins are excited and ready for the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at 9 a.m. in Kiwanis Park.  Bicycles, rabbits and lots of Easter Eggs will be waiting for you. Everyone is welcome, and of course the Easter Bunny will be there.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo