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City Council discussed parking, water heaters, and Halloween at committee meetings

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The Athens city council gathered for committee meetings Monday night to discuss various matters like parking and Halloween.

Members of the Athens City Council discussed continuing a pilot program that allows residents with a permit to park for up to 72 hours in certain areas at Monday’s committee meeting.

The pilot program, which passed in August 2017, officially started running in January and is set to run for a year. Residents on certain streets can apply for a special $25 permit that allows them to park their cars in spaces for up to 72 hours at a time. Previously, residents could only park in a space for 24 hours at a time.

Athenian Joan Kraynanski proposed the pilot program in 2016 and was the first person to receive a permit once the program started. At the committee meeting Monday, Kraynanski praised the program and urged the council to continue the pilot program for another year.

“Myself, personally, I am greatly relieved,” Kraynanski said. “No longer every day do I have to think about going out to check my car and moving it.”

Mayor Steve Patterson said that the Athens Police Department has been enforcing the permits and that some residents with the special permit have even been cited for staying longer than 72 hours.

“Interesting thing is that the citations have come from vehicles that were multiply cited under the old 24-hour rule, so sometimes behaviors don’t change a whole lot,” Patterson said. “However, I will share that I too believe it is very successful and would like to also encourage to continue it on for another year.”

The council also discussed updating the language regarding water heater installations to comply with international and Ohio plumbing codes.

Currently, Athens’ plumbing code requires water heaters to be installed by “licensed plumbers,” while international and Ohio plumbing code merely requires water heaters to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additionally, the council discussed closing Court Street for trick or treating, organized by the Athens Uptown Business Association on Oct. 29.

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