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City Clearing Out Junk

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The Athens City Council announced a plan at Monday night’s meeting that would retire several pieces of equipment and pews because of safety violations.

Second Ward Rep. Jeffrey Risner introduced an ordinance that would retire three different items from service to the community. The first is a 1997 Dodge Club truck, the second is a 1983 Ford paint machine and the final item is the set of pews within Arts/West, located at 132 W. State St.

The first two items belong to the Engineering and Public Works department. Both have fallen out of efficient service and are being sold or donated.

“This ordinance will allow the City Service-Safety Director to dispose of said items through governmental agencies, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, auctions, on-line auctions, trade-ins, or sell for scrap and sell the pews,” Risner said.

The ordinance is also prescribing the paint machine to be declared an emergency for health concerns.

The pews were a last minute addition to this ordinance. Several people, including Judges Ward and Goldbury, from the courthouse, requested that the pews from Arts/West be removed and reinstalled at the courthouse. Chairs, whether they be from storage or purchased with funds generated from the sale from the pews to outside parties, would be used instead in Arts/West. However, Law Director Pat Lang explained that there is a “procedure in replacing the pews, and in order to get to that second step, we have to approve of the disposal [of the pews].”

After the third reading of the ordinance, the city will gain the approval for disposing of the items; the paint machine is a major concern for City Service-Safety Director Paula Moseley.

“It realized much more of its use than we originally thought it could,” Moseley said. “We bought it for a good price, and we have gotten a lot of use out it.”

Risner said the city now has a device that can be strapped to a vehicle, rather than one like the stand-alone model the city is trying to remove.

“The city has just been keeping it running for all these years, and it would be very expensive to buy a whole new model when we have a functioning unit already,” Risner said. “The brakes finally went out on the ’83 machine, and they do not make parts for it anymore.”

As the city service-safety director, Moseley is left responsible for the disposal of the items concerned in the ordinance, meaning she decides what ultimately becomes of them.

“I would prefer to donate the pews to an organization, but we may have to sell them in order to purchase the chairs to replace them,” Moseley said. “The plans to remove the pews is aligned with future improvements to Arts/West.”

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