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Athens City Hall is seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

The city of Athens faces a shrinking tax base as more people work remotely

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The city of Athens may have to make some budget cuts in the face of declining tax revenue as more people continue to work remotely. The city has already coughed up an extra $100,000 to pay income tax refunds to remote workers. And at Monday’s City Council meeting, the city’s auditor… Read More

Athens City Hall is seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

Concerns about proposed short-term rental ordinance in Athens turn on definition of ‘owner occupied’

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A handful of residents once again raised concerns over a proposed ordinance that would regulate short-term rentals in Athens during Monday night’s City Council meeting. The issue is whether the owner of a short-term rental must be living in the home during the rental period. Those with concerns about how the… Read More

Athens City Council will propose a tax levy to replace decaying fire station

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens fire chief drew chuckles when he opened his presentation at Monday night’s City Council meeting with this line: “The fire station is falling down and I need a new one. Thank you.” But the laughter soon turned to gasps as Chief Robert Rymer played a video clip showing the… Read More

Athens City Hall is seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

Athens City Council takes up proposal to regulate short-term home rentals

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens City Council is considering a proposal which would require homeowners to get a permit to do short-term rentals. Homeowners in Athens can already rent out their homes or rooms in their homes using services like Airbnb and Vrbo. There’s no law against that. What the proposed new system would… Read More

Athens City Hall is seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

Appointed Athens council members respond to being called “tokenized” political pawns by council candidate

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — An independent running for Athens City Council called out two members of the council Monday night, saying they’re being used by the Democratic Party to sideline more progressive voices. In a three-minute prepared statement, Damon Krane addressed the council’s two newest members, Ben Ziff and Micah McCarey, and said they were… Read More

Athens City Hall is seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

Athens City Council Approves Pay Increase Of New Arts, Parks and Recreation Director

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to give Mayor Steve Patterson the ability to hire a new director for the Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department with a 34% pay increase. The council’s authorization of the 34% pay increase will bring the new director’s salary to $68,000. First Ward… Read More

A mask up sign on a trash can on Court Street in Athens

Athens City Council Reimposes Universal Mask Mandate

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens City Council on Monday approved an ordinance that once again requires all people, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask inside any public space. The ordinance, which passed unanimously, takes effect immediately. In May, as vaccination rates were rising and COVID-19 cases were declining, the council amended its… Read More

Athens County highlighted on a map

Swank Defeats Incumbent Fahl For Athens City Council 4th Ward Seat

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Alan Swank soundly defeated three-term incumbent Christine Fahl in the Democratic primary for the Athens City Council 4th Ward seat. Swank received 184, or nearly two-thirds, of the 282 votes cast. Swank moves on to the general election in November and is all but certain to claim the council seat given… Read More

Long-Term Care Facility In Athens Co. Sees Sudden Spike in COVID-19 Cases

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A long-term care facility in Athens County that had no coronavirus cases on Friday reported 19 cases on Monday. This development was reported to the Athens City Council Monday evening by Jack Pepper, administrator of the Athens City-County Health Department. Pepper said that COVID-19 cases in Athens County, which have been… Read More

A screenshot of the online City Council meeting on Monday, July 13, 2020.

Athens City Council Unanimously Passes Face Mask Ordinance

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Face coverings are now required in most public places in Athens after City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night during a special online meeting. The ordinance will go into effect as soon as Mayor Steve Patterson, Council President Chris Knisely, and Clerk of Council Debbie Walker sign it. Patterson said… Read More

The OUtlet: Season 6, Episode 5

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This is the October 17, 2017 broadcast of The OUtlet from WOUB News. On this week’s show, we’ll tell you how an event on Ohio University’s campus impacted survivors of sexual assault. One of our reporters sits down with former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. Athens County will have the opportunity to vote on decriminalizing marijuana… Read More

WOUB Digital

Athens City Council Approves Non-Union Raise

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Athens City Council approved an additional 1 percent pay increase for non-union employees within the city, but the vote was not unanimous. The legislation was introduced by Councilman Jeff Risner in an attempt to bring “equity” to city workers after some employees of the city auditor’s office received 3 and 4 percent raises in December,… Read More

Council Passes $2 Million Parking Garage Renovation Ordinance

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Athens residents will be paying more to park later this year. Athens City Council passed anordinance Monday night to renovate the city’s East Washington Street parking garage. Athens mayor Paul Wiehl said the $2 million in repairs are needed to maintain safety, a need made evident two years ago when concrete fell off the structure…. Read More

WOUB Digital

City Council to Introduce Ordinance to Make Union St. a “Historical District”


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City Council Member Chris Fahl is expected to introduce an ordinance that would classify Union Street as a local “historic district.” The ordinance would help preserve the buildings on Union Street damaged by a November, 2014 fire that damaged or destroyed student apartments and five  businesses. It would also help building owners with reconstruction. By definition… Read More