Athens mayor touts want for two fireplace stations, however Dawn Park will get viewers’s consideration

Mar. 8—ATHENS — Mayor Ronnie Marks’ imaginative and prescient for the town consists of two new fireplace stations and different tasks to deal with Athens’ fast inhabitants progress, however his define of plans for Dawn Park resonated with a number of folks attending his State of the Metropolis speech Tuesday.

Marks additionally mentioned bettering the Vine Avenue space.

Jennifer White, 70, of Athens, stated after Marks’ speech that she will’t look forward to Dawn Park to be operational, particularly the canine park that shall be inside it.

“I wish to see all of it, however I met with the group that had concepts concerning the park, and the canine park was a giant deal,” she stated.

Town plans to assemble the park in phases on a 32.67-acre property close to Pryor Avenue and Sussex Drive that when was a rooster processing plant. Building of the primary part will start this spring.

Marks stated part one would be the youngsters’s space, together with a playground and a splash pad. He stated there shall be a parking zone the place meals vehicles can arrange. The primary part is slated to be accomplished in late spring or early summer time 2024, Marks stated.

“After we get part one accomplished, get it began, then we’ll begin the opposite half,” Marks stated. “Possibly even towards the canine park, the inexperienced house, and simply maintain placing it collectively.”

John Wilson, 37, from unincorporated Limestone County, attended the State of the Metropolis program and stated he was enthusiastic about Dawn Park. He stated he seems to be ahead to taking his two younger sons to the park.

Wilson stated he was most enthusiastic about “the paths, strolling, and the boys in fact will love the playground and the splash pad. Proper now, we’ve got to go to Decatur to go to a splash pad; there will be one proper right here.”

The Athens-Limestone County Chamber of Commerce held the State of the Metropolis breakfast in Athens State College’s Carter Gymnasium on Tuesday morning. Marks mentioned quite a few tasks for the town, which has seen its inhabitants develop from 21,897 in 2010 to an estimated 27,027 in 2021.

“With the expansion that we’ve got (comes) alternatives, however it is also loads of challenges,” Marks stated. “Public security is our primary precedence, meaning we will want, at the very least within the subsequent few years, two new fireplace stations.”

Marks stated one location the town is planning on for a brand new fireplace station could be within the Tanner Crossroads space at Huntsville Brownsferry Highway and U.S. 31. Marks stated he would love it to include an ambulance and police bay. The opposite station shall be close to the Athens Sportsplex and is already within the works.

“We have already labored with an architect, we have got to revamp it, get what we would like, construct what we would like, and discover the land; (I would) prefer it to be there near the brand new highschool,” Marks stated. “I hope that we’ll have the architect plans again to the Metropolis Council within the subsequent three to 4 months. And you then’re speaking a couple of constructing, most likely 12 to 14 months, so that you’re speaking about fall of 2024 (for completion).”

Marks stated he would not know what the fireplace stations will value as a result of the work has not been put out for bid. Nonetheless, he estimated the primary station is likely to be between $3.5 million and $5 million.

White stated she appreciates that metropolis officers are planning.

“I like the truth that the town is trying ahead,” she stated. “We now have Metropolis Council members, Limestone County commissioners and so they’re all the time trying ahead.”

Dolph Bradford, 56, Athens Avenue Division director, attended this system and stated he’s doing loads of the work at Dawn Park.

“The park shall be good,” he stated. “The added companies and retail, eating places, issues like that which might be coming (to a bit of the park), that is very good to have.”

Marks stated the Vine Avenue challenge, which incorporates streets reminiscent of Vine Avenue, Westmoreland Avenue and Bailey Avenue, has been within the works for years. The plans embrace fixing drainage points, putting in sidewalks and repairing the Vine Avenue street.

“The drainage and the sidewalks and the streets in there, nearly a $2 million challenge and we’re about to go to bid with (it),” he stated. “Similar to what we did across the Athens Elementary Faculty about 5 years in the past.”

The $1.8 million challenge obtained a $500,000 Group Improvement Block Grant by means of the Alabama Division of Financial and Group Affairs. Marks stated the town should fund the rest from the town’s finances.

Marks stated the wastewater remedy plant wants a 3rd post-treatment clarifier due to the town’s progress. A post-treatment clarifier is a tank that removes stable particulates from the liquid. At present, the Wastewater Division has 9,500 clients and two tanks.

“We now have room to create and construct a 3rd one and you are going to need to do it; you must plan for the expansion,” Marks stated. “We have a couple of max capability of 20 million gallons per day and also you’re quickly going to wish 20 million to 25 million if not nearly 30 million.”

That progress requires enhancements to the wastewater remedy plant, Marks stated.

“We’re working with the architect and consultants proper now to get that achieved,” he stated. “Then we begin placing the cash to it. That is a 2023 challenge.”

Marks stated there are many alternatives but additionally plenty of challenges forward for the town.

“Our income stream is nice and we’ve got to reap the benefits of placing cash into motion, put it to work,” he stated. “Not simply spending cash to be spending, however to place it towards tasks that want enhancements.”

— or 256-340-2460.

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