Photo Credit: Blake Aued/file
Clayton Street business owners (and the rest of the public) will finally get a chance to weigh in on an upcoming streetscape project that will tear up the road for over a year while workers replace aging underground utility lines and widen the sidewalks.
The commission had voted in January—with little public input—to fast-track the project in an effort to avoid shutting down Clayton Street for two consecutive football seasons and winter holidays. After about 30 business owners signed a petition asking the Mayor and Commission to push back the project until Jan. 1, Denson told engineers to go back and look at other options, she and Hamby told the Athens Downtown Development Authority last week. Two meetings—one at 2 p.m. and one at 6 p.m.—will be held at the Michael Brothers building Wednesday, Feb. 28 to discuss those options.
The ADDA also discussed getting involved in discussions about the Costa Building, a former ice-cream factory next door to City Hall that once housed the downtown police precinct and parking enforcement. It’s been vacant for several years, but SPLOST funding to renovate it is about to become available. ACC officials had planned to use the building for county offices, but Hamby suggested selling it for a project similar to what the ADDA put in motion with a parking lot near Hotel Indigo. Denson said she would like to see “something where people are coming and going.”