Athens City Council continued to speak on the scheduling conflict between Number Fest and the International Street Fair during its Monday meeting.
Mayor Steve Patterson was upset when the idea of changing the street for ISF came up again. Many of the council members believe that a 34-year-old tradition should not have to be moved due to a music festival that has only been in place for 14 years.
For many council members, the fact that Number Fest’s “bring your own beer” policy will change this year was a helpful addition. Patterson explained that people hauling case after case of beer through the ISF crowd on their way to the fest was one of the major distractions last year, and he suggested that the elimination of the policy will likely alleviate the problem.
A conclusion to the overlap of festivities has yet to be determined, but it will be touched on again before April.
The council also addressed the major snow storm that hit Athens last week. Salt trucks and sidewalk care were a topic of concern.
One of the salt trucks that helps keep Athens streets clear will soon need to be replaced. The beloved truck 128 has been around for several years, but it can no longer do its job in the rough conditions.
“128 has served its life well,” Mayor Patterson said.
The truck will continue to serve Athens but will be used for other purposes. The cost to replace 128 will be approximately $80,000 to $100,000.
Council members were upset with the way some snowy sidewalks were handled. Some business driveways were plowed, but the snow seemed to be pushed onto the sidewalks.
“We just hope that in the next snow event people get out there and clear their sidewalks,” Councilwoman Michele Papai, D-4th Ward, said.
Some members of the council were upset by the fact that it was Monday evening and people were still walking on snow-covered sidewalks. Patterson took the opportunity to remind those in attendance of city rules on snowfall.
“Four hours after snowfall ends, citizens are required to clear their sidewalks,” Patterson said.