City Coronavirus Pandemic State City Council encourages state legislature to continue remote meetings By Kae Walther Posted on 3 days ago 2 min read 0 0 35 Athens City Council meeting virtually on Sept. 14. Photo by Emily Crebs. Athens City Council passed a resolution Monday night to encourage the state legislature to extend the deadline to conduct remote council and board meetings past Dec. 1. The deadline, if not extended, would force all councils in Ohio to resume meetings in person. This could cause accessibility issues and health concerns for local residents wanting to attend meetings, council members and administration, according to President Knisely. “[Administration] has met with Jack Pepper, the City-County Health Department, to review the City Council chambers,” Athens City Council President Chris Knisely said. “I think we can allow up to eight people to attend in person, but we would also be continuing with our remote Zoom capabilities.” Athens City Law Director Lisa Eliason also said that Senate Bill 358, a bill allowing the extension of remote learning or meeting, is expected to be passed Nov. 17, according to the Ohio Legislature. Mayor Steve Patterson briefly reemphasized comments made at Gov. Mike Dewine’s press conference on Nov. 3 where he reimposed a state-wide mask mandate and reissued mandatory mask signage in all stores. Patterson also said he will reissue new signs to businesses in the coming weeks. The council also introduced a proposal for approximately 24.9 acres of land to be developed into multi-family, low-income homes across from the University Estates on Luhrig Road. These homes are expected to have “well developed broadband of utilities” and “room to work from home,” according to developer Joseph McCabe.