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A spot one block south of the Athens city square could be the site of a new barbecue business the owner hopes will draw not only locals, but attract out-of-town customers to the city.
Kelly Barnes appeared before the City Council, Monday, for a public hearing and first reading on a zoning change for three lots at 119 S. Palestine Street. Barnes is seeking a change from Central Business District to Retail which would relieve him of complying with some of the regulations required for businesses in the CDB.
A smokehouse will be on the property where the food is prepared. There will also be a covered area for diners. Landscaping and parking places are also in the plans which are still being developed. Barnes said he hopes to have the business going by spring.
A small building on the northwest side of the property has been used for drive through businesses such as Darby’s Snow Cones and a specialty drink store. Barnes said he is considering a similar use for the building, perhaps as a coffee shop.
The City Council issued two proclamations at the meeting. One declared November Athens Small Business Month.
The other proclaimed Saturday, Nov. 14, America Recycles Day in the city. Carol Morton of Keep Athens Beautiful, a sponsor for the annual event, was present for the reading of the proclamation.
During comments from the Mayor, Monte Montgomery commended outgoing Councilman Ed McCain for his service to the city. McCain cited two things he is especially proud of during his almost five years. One was suggesting Aaron “Bubba” Smith as an interim member of the group. Smith later ran and won a full term.
The other was being a part of the selection of Elizabeth Borstad as City Manager. Borstad was serving with the City of Corsicana when she was chosen for the Athens position.

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