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Mayor suggests Athens be another County Commission district

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Should Athens become a fifth district for the Limestone County Commission?

Mayor Dan Williams suggested that it should during a discussion on road needs at Monday's City Council meeting.

The city hired a consulting firm to do a traffic circulation study, which included a discussion on growth and road improvements needed to handle that growth.

Councilman Ronnie Marks said 1,250 residential lots are in the planning stages for the city.

"Now add 2.5 cars per lot and think about how much traffic you'll be adding," he said.

Council President Johnny Crutcher said he isn't advocating new taxes, but said the city does not have the revenue coming in to construct the four-lanes and turn lanes needed to handle growth.

"We've got to come up with more revenue or sink like the Titanic," Crutcher said.

That's when Williams said the city should look into its designation as a separate district. He said now the city is split into the commission's four districts. If the city were kept whole as a separate district, it would get a portion of the commission's money for roads.

"Right now, that's only split between the four districts," he said.

Crutcher said the county tends to only pave outside the city limits even though the city is a part of the county.

Williams said the city would have to seek special legislation to become a separate district.

"I'm not knocking the County Commission, but this would be a way for us to get a share of road money," Williams said.

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