Mayor Monte Montgomery.jpg

City of Athens officials are working to merge construction ideas about the Cain Center into an effective, affordable plan, Mayor Monte Montgomery told the City Council on Monday.

"The number one question I'm answering right now is the Cain Center," Montgomery said.

Montgomery said he, City Manager Elizabeth Borstad and three members of the Cain Center steering committee recently met with the project architects in Dallas.

"The purpose was for the steering committee to get their information to the designers," Montgomery said. "These are the architects who did the original set of plans."

The steering committee, led by Steve Grant studied the Cain Center plans and needs during the winter and came back with a course of action in April that they estimated would bring the $8.3 million cost down to $6,125,000.

"Now, the architects are re-defining their work, what it will take to use the existing documents and add new ones," Montgomery said.

City officials will have an update on the Cain Center project every week from this point on, Montgomery said.

The council will have a workshop on the project soon to look at financing.

"The one thing we came out of that meeting with is the certainty that we want to make sure that we bring everything up to code that we can with this project," Borstad said. "There were a lot of things that were addressed in the original set of plans that were addressed specifically because they were not complaint with the current code.

The council has to work through the stipulations cited by the Murchison Foundation in their offer to commit $2.5 million to the project," Montgomery said.

"We're moving foreword with the Cain Center every day that we can," Montgomery said.

The council made an appointment to the Athens Economic Development Corporation Board. The council chose Danny Tidmore to serve the remainder of Cliff Barrett's unexpired term. The AEDC board recommended Morgan Smith for the spot.

Montgomery said the council will also need to fill fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Board of Directors President Jeaneane Lilly. Smith will be eligible for consideration from that spot as well, Montgomery said.

Other appointments on Monday night were Kelley Townsend and Deanne Boswell for the Cultural Resources Committee.

In consent agenda items, which were not opened for discussion, the council awarded a bid to Reynolds and Kay for the 2019 seal coat program and authorized City Manager Elizabeth Borstad to execute a contract with the company. The seal coat program involves work on several streets, including Old Kaufman, Athens Brick, Scott, Oval, N. Prairieville and a section of Wooded Creek.

The council also awarded a bid to Capps-Capco Construction Inc. for Carroll Street drainage improvements and authorized Borstad to execute a contract.

In other action, the council approved a resolution concerning allocations for the 2019 Downtown Facade Improvement Program. The council voted to allocate $25,000 for the improvements underway at 103 E. Larkin Street and $5,000 for the property at 105 E.Tyler Street.

The vote was 3 to 1, with Robert Gross opposed.