The Athens Municipal Water Authority board, on Friday set a public hearing for Aug. 14 for the 2020-2021 tax rate.

The preliminary rate is the same as the current fiscal year. The rate to be advertised is $0.119729 per $100 valuation. The board can still discuss and change the rate before its final adoption.

The AMWA board is also in budget discussions, to get the document in place by mid September. Last year, they approved a budget with projected expenditures of $1,561,980. About $1 million of that was for the Powder River well project.

At the Friday meeting, the board also heard a police report on Fourth of July activity on Lake Athens. Chief Gary Dugan said, with the annual fireworks show canceled due to COVID-19, there were many more people illegally popping them this year.

"I know we put out signs to try to educate people that we didn't want them doing it," Dugan said.

On the night of the 4th, the lake patrol contacted 17 property owners who were popping firecrackers in a restricted area.

"We had three homeowners that decided to either run, or hide, or maybe it was their kids doing it." Dugan said. "We're considering filing charges and I think we're going to start doing that in the future."

Dugan said the violators often said they didn't know popping them there was illegal.

"Some people had a fairly decent excuse like they weren't from there and they had somebody else's boat, but it still makes the homeowners responsible," Dugan said.

Some of the displays were large and easily seen from a distance.

"I'd go there and the fireworks were still on fire," Dugan said.

In other action, the board approved revisions to the Rules and Regulations Governing Lake Athens which will be published soon. The board also heard a presentation by the Lake Athens Property Owners Association regarding the results of the LAPOA petition concerning visiting anglers.

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