Home City City Council prepares to keep Athens orderly and safe during its biggest weekend of the year

City Council prepares to keep Athens orderly and safe during its biggest weekend of the year

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City council partners with the Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee to keep Halloween in Athens just that.

City Council discussed plans to ensure a safe and successful Athens Halloween Block Party during its Monday meeting.

Councilmember Peter Kostes introduced four ordinances regarding Halloween weekend. The ordinances address topics such as parking, street closures, vending permits, and removing noise regulations for bands.

Kostes said that the ordinances for Halloween weekend do not change much year to year, but he mentioned further conversation will take place during their second reading.

“This is something that has been sneaking up on us,” Kostes said. “What has been relayed to me was that nothing has really changed from last year. The ordinances have just changed in date.”

Kostes also addressed the growing issue of safety on campus during the holiday weekend. In 2016, The Athens News reported that 35 people were arrested on the Saturday night of the block party.

“We have officers coming in from the surrounding municipalities,” Kostes said. “There’s a lot of people on the ground and it’s ultimately to keep people safe.”

Kostes said he went on a ride-along with Athens police last year that reassured him of their commitment to keeping all of the block party participants safe.

“They weren’t trying to necessarily throw people in jail,” Kostes said. “It was identifying people in trouble, taking care of them and getting them to people that could take care of them.”

Brandon Thompson, a member of the Athens Clean and Safe Halloween Committee, took the podium to discuss the logistics of music stages during the weekend.

“Pretty much everything is the same,” Thompson said. “There will be two stages, the only differences will be the stage usually by College Gate will now be on Union Street.”

In other business

  • The council unanimously voted to approve the authorization of a plan for the city’s dewatering project, which deals with purchasing equipment for the wastewater treatment plant.
  • The council also unanimously voted to start looking at bids from engineers for the Northwest Bikeway spur, a bike path that connects Armitage Road and University Estates Boulevard.
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