Athens Review, Athens, Texas

November 7, 2012

City of Athens chosen to receive $275,000 funding

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens City Council discussed the 2012 Texas Community Block Grant at a special meeting Wednesday.

The city has been chosen to receive $275,000 funding for a public-sewer project.

According to the city application, the work will take place on Magnolia Street, and will include first-time sewer service to 13 households. Construction will include installing 5,500 linear feet of 6-inch sewer line.

In addition the project includes a lift station, 13 manholes, road-boring and lines to 13 yards.

City Administrator Pam Burton said the council will consider several items concerning the grant at the regular meeting on Nov. 12. The city must name a grant administrator, engineer, labor standards officer and authorized signators for the project.

In other action, Athens Economic Development Corporation President/CEO Brian Malone recommended approval of an incentive package for Champion Homes for an expansion of the Athens plant.

The incentive contract includes $24,000 for the Michigan-based manufacturer to add equipment to the Athens plant. An additional $87,500 will be provided for job creation.

“Champion is recommending a little over $900,000 in capital improvements, and hiring 43 employees in this expansion,” Malone said. “The AEDC recommends approval.”

City Councilman Aubrey Jones asked if the $24,000 would be released to Champion immediately after the council approves the incentive. Malone said the money would be paid after the improvements were complete, and the work is documented. In addition, the employees must be on the job for one year, before that segment of the incentive package is paid.

“So, we would get their roster, view that, and determine how many FTE’s (full time employees) they have,” Malone said.

The Council also discussed an ordinance granting a bus franchise to The Chariot Bus Lines, which makes daily runs to Tyler and back. The franchise will not make Chariot the exclusive bus line for the city.  Should another company apply to provide a service to Dallas, for example, the council could also grant that franchise request.