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Robbins Crest Park is located on Robbins Road.

The scene is the same every school day: parents, waiting to pick up their children from South Athens Elementary, scoop up any available spot they can to park.

That has rubbed at least some residents of a nearby subdivision the wrong way.

Athens City Administrator Pam Burton, speaking at a special called meeting of the city council Wednesday, said the city has received a request from Johnny Ballow Homes LLC to install “no parking” signs on Lantana Street to keep parents and others from parking on their street during pick-up and drop-off times.

According to Burton, the complainant — who was not named — said the vehicles that park on Lantana create congestion that could potentially block emergency vehicles if they are needed on the street. Lantana Street is a cul-de-sac with one entrance, which intersects Robbins Road.

Athens Police Chief Buddy Hill said officers have noticed parents waiting up to 30 or 40 minutes on Lantana.

Concerns also were aired that children are being allowed to cross Robbins Road, which fronts the school, to get to their parent or guardian’s parked vehicle on Lantana. There are no crosswalks or crossing guards at the intersection of Lantana and Robbins, but Hill noted teachers remain outside to help students into vehicles in the parking lot before and after school.

The council, which took no action on the item, has been asked to consider prohibiting parking on Lantana Street from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“I think that’s the first step to resolving the issue at hand,” Burton said.

Burton said Bel Air Elementary, on Bel Air Drive, already has “no parking” signs. Parking is prohibited from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Don Vaught and councilmember Carroll Maberry said a study needs to be done regarding traffic congestion and parking issues on the roadways around South Athens Elementary, including Clinton Street. That request could be made to the Athens Independent School District. The council made no decision regarding such a request, but Burton said the issue regarding the “no parking” sign request on Lantana will be taken up at Monday’s regularly scheduled council meeting.

Later Wednesday, Athens ISD Asst. Superintendent Mike Green said school officials are aware of the parking congestion issue.

“We’re trying to do what we can,” Green said. “If the city council can do something to help, we think that’s an excellent idea.”

The city council also unanimously approved:

• Athens Economic Development Corpor-ation’s request to grant an incentive package of $30,000 to OTE Internati-onal Holdings, located at the old Athens airport. OTE is an international company that designs and manufactures thermoelectric coolers;

• authorizing Mayor Randy Daniel to execute a contract with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Home Program for its Owner Occupied Housing Assistance Grant. The grant, aimed at families with low to moderate incomes who own their homes, provides funds for improvements on their houses.

The council also met in executive session for 42 minutes Wednesday. When the council reconvened in open session, Daniel said no action was taken. City councils may convene in executive session, out of the public’s eye, for personnel matters; or for deliberation regarding the employment, evaluation, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public employee. If action is taken in executive session, that action must be publicized when a meeting reconvenes in open session.

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