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Before you know it the kids will be back to school. Where did the summer go? Here are some thoughts as we get ready to start the education cycle again.

-- Can you believe this weather? It is the end of July and the temperature is only in the high 80s. Now is the perfect time to be out enjoying Kiwanis Park, Baggett Park or the East Texas Arboretum. Take time to get out and check out our local shops, restaurants and stores.

-- Athens has played host to multiple baseball and softball tournaments this summer. Coleman and Cain parks have both been busy. Thank you to all the volunteers who make those tournaments possible. I know how much work that takes.

-- The City street crews have been busy this week with repairs and overlays now that the intermittent rains have given them a break. The wet winter and spring has taken its toll on our schedule. Repairs will continue through the summer.

-- The City Council has begun work on next year's budget with staff making presentations during our workshop meetings. These meetings will continue as go through the budget process.

Mayor Monte Montgomery

Tourism Development Grant deadline Monday

Monday, July 29 is the deadline to apply for the Tourism Development Grant for the upcoming fiscal year to solicit funding opportunities for tourism promotion. This grant is specifically designed to help fund projects that attract overnight visitors to Athens and is open to eligible organizations located within the Athens city limits or its vicinity.

According to State law, revenues from the Hotel Occupancy Tax must be used to support activities that promote tourism and demonstrate a positive benefit to the local hotel industry. In addition, project requests must fit within one of nine statutorily required categories. Some of these categories include, promotion of the arts, historic restoration and preservation, and tourism advertising and promotion.

The City will accept applications for funding considerations until 5 p.m. on Monday, July 29, 2019. Application packets are available through the City of Athens website (www.athenstx.gov) or in-person at City Hall, located at 508 E Tyler Street and Development Services Center, located at 501 US- 175 BUS. Applications will be reviewed by City Staff and the Cultural Resources Commission on August 6, 2019, and recommendations for funding awards will be discussed with Council on August 9th during the Budget Workshop. 

Organizations interested in applying for Hotel Occupancy Tax funds are encouraged to contact Katie Birk, Tourism and Cultural Resources Coordinator at 903-677- 5943 or via email at kbirk@athenstx.gov.   

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