Tagged: Paul Wiehl

Athens Improves Wastewater Treatment Plant

Athens has begun the process of improving its Wastewater Treatment Plant at 557 E State St.  The city plant was built in 1952 and has been upgraded numerous times since but city officials feel that now is an appropriate time for an update. “[The upgrades are] essential for increasing our capacity as well as our efficiency,” said Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl at Monday’s City Council meeting. Two major changes are being considered: updating the square clarifiers that are inefficient because of their shape and changing the outdated chlorine filtering technology to ultraviolet wastewater filtering. Clarifiers are the initial step in...

Opinion: Wiehl Should Take a Lesson from Villaraigosa

As a native of Los Angeles, California, I happen to like the way Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is dealing with community relations, especially with schools.  His thorough and steadfast education program, called Student Recovery Day, has put 1,955 students back into public schools as students who formerly decided not to attend.  Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl should take a lesson from Mayor Villaraigosa—who serves as head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors—and reach out to the neighborhood schools in our city. On Sept. 21, Villaraigosa welcomed Mexican president Felipe Calderon and the First Lady of Mexico to Los Angeles, where he announced...

Athens Mayoral Candidates Face Off in Debate

The Athens Public Library hosted a mayoral debate Tuesday evening between current mayor Paul Wiehl and Republican contender Randy Morris. The debate started with opening statements from both candidates – followed by questions from media representations from sources such as Ohio University’s The Post, WOUB and The Athens News. Questions ranged from job creation to environmental issues to Issue 2, the Senate Bill 5 veto referendum, on the upcoming November ballot. On prioritization of city operations, Morris expressed hope that no programs need to be eliminated – and for the city to look at receiving corporate sponsorships for such programs...

City Council Considers Legislation on Domestic Partner Benefits

Athens City Council is considering legislation that would provide domestic partner benefits for city employees. A draft of the proposed legislation was presented last week and the ordinance will be up for first reading at Monday’s council meeting. “As part of our ongoing effort to make the community as inclusive as we can, to make sure the city cares for all its employees in the same way, we’ve passed a series of laws in the past couple of years dealing with the LGBTQ community,” said Elahu Gosney, at-large representative. “[But] there’s one piece that’s not there yet.” Domestic partners who...

Funding Granted to Zero Waste Initiative, Plans to Boost Recycling

A long awaited boost to the economic, environmental and social well being in the Appalachian region is now more feasible after the Sugar Bush Foundation has granted a second round of funding to bolster the Zero Waste Initiative. The funding will allow the initiative’s second phase to set sail. The Zero Waste Initiative aims to improve local economies and help businesses eliminate waste in all forms by reducing, reusing and recycling materials so they are seen as resources. Rural Action, the local nonprofit organization advocating for sustainability in the region, is the spearhead of the initiative and is in partnerships...

Athens Bus System Seeking Improvements

City officials are searching for possible improvements to the city bus system. Numerous candidates for oversight and bus route strategies are being considered in hope to provide a more efficient bus system. The city has applied for both federal and state grants that will provide $316,000 of the $560,000 total bus budget. So far, the Ohio Department of Transportation has supplied a consultant to analyze the local bus system and suggest areas for improvement. This will be an ongoing process and any changes to the system must be held in public hearings. Two possible strategies to implement would be a...

Athens Swears in New Interim Lieutenant

On Monday Athens Police Department swore in a new Lieutenant, Adam Claar, after an emergency staffing ordinance was drafted to fill the opening. Claar, a resident of Vinton County, has been with the department since 2005 and holds an associate degree in law enforcement. Claar’s high scores on the civil service exam paired with his dedication to the force made him an ideal choice, said Athens Chief of Police Tom Pyle. “I am very happy and very pleased with Claar in his new position,” Pyle said. “He is a community-oriented person and has a strong set of skills, so I...

City Council Pushes to Ban Fracking in Athens

A recent surge in natural gas leasing from landowners throughout the state of Ohio has prompted Athens city officials to push for legislation banning the use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly referred to as “fracking.” The process has been largely unregulated, which has caused many Athens residents to be concerned with the potential environmental effects.

Memorandum of Understanding Created Between Athens and OU

Ohio University’s decision to pay for a portion of the city’s new ladder truck has paved the way for more open communication over campus-city issues. Leaders of OU and the city of Athens have agreed to form a “Memorandum of Understanding.” Both Mayor Paul Wiehl and OU President Roderick McDavis will appoint staff members to work on the MOU in order to develop established and easy communication between the city and OU. “Mayor Wiehl and I have agreed to form a combined work group that will develop the MOU,” McDavis wrote in a letter to city council. “I will appoint...

Athens City Leaders Speak in Memory of 9/11

Athens American Veterans Post 76 hosted an “Evening of Remembrance” on Sunday night to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. “We are gathered here today to keep ever mindful of the cowardly attack on our country, the attack which caused the death of over 3,000 innocent men, women and children, and the emotional toll that it took on their families and the survivors,” said Post Commander Denny Jarvis. “We must always remember the brave action and sacrifice of our first responders and the war on terror that is being waged by the brave men and...