The Athens City Council awarded bids on Monday for two large projects set for the city this summer.

In the consent agenda, which are items that can be passed without individual discussion, the council awarded a bid to Capps-Capco Construction for the construction of water improvements on Park, Prairieville, and East Clinton Streets and authorized City Manager Elizabeth Borstad to enter into an agreement with the company.

In November, the Texas Water Development Board approved financial assistance in the amount of $1,125,000 for Athens, consisting of an $825,000 loan and $300,000 in loan forgiveness. for the project. The city will replace approximately 5,000 linear feet of water line on Park Street, Prairieville and Clinton and install new fire hydrants.

The council also awarded a bid to Reynolds and Kay for the 2020 Seal Coat Program and authorizing Borstad to enter into an agreement with the company. The city has seal coating done on some streets each summer as the warm weather is ideal for the process.

At the meeting, the council also authorized the City Manager to direct the Utility Billing Department to resume the standard water cut-off processes beginning with the August 2020 billing cycle.

"Last month we brought to you the proposal to start initiating the late fee charge and we have done that," Borstad said. 

Councilman Ed McCain said he thinks the city took appropriate action when the cutoff moratorium was put in place.

"The is now the end of that process and I hope it helped people," McCain said.

McCain presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Monte Montgomery.

Borstad said anyone who is having trouble paying their bill can still contact the city and discuss the problem.

After executive session, the council voted to authorize Borstad to negotiate a retirement agreement with Chief of Police Buddy Hill. Hill is leaving the department and will take a job as investigator in the Henderson County District Attorney's Office.

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