Hello, my name is Josh Edwards. I’m the new Assistant County Manager at Athens-Clarke County Unified Government. I’m excited to be a part of this community. I recently moved from North Carolina at the city of Durham. Today you’re watching Snapshot Six, where we talk about programs and initiatives around our Mayor and Commission’s six strategic commitments. The Police Department’s Summer Camp wrapped up after a successful three-week session that saw an average of 27 campers in attendance. Campers enjoyed a cookout, a kickball game, and a number of field trips including: rollerskating, bowling, a trip to the movies, visiting the Georgia Museum of Art, and a fun-filled afternoon at Funopolis. In addition to various field trips, speakers highlighted topics such as leadership training, financial literacy, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). Representatives from the ACC Water Conservation Office and command staff of the ACCPD also gave presentations to the campers. The Solid Waste Department will host a series of community input meetings to receive feedback on current and future collection services and programs. The meetings are designed for staff to gain a better understanding of customers’ expectations, needs, and priorities in solid waste collection and management The three meetings will take place August 15 at the Athens Regional Library, August 19 at the Solid Waste Department, and August 27 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens. Residents can also complete a collection survey online at accgov.com/collectionsurvey by September 6. On June 7, a new generation of teens were introduced to the Grand Slam Program. Leisure Services, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Police Department worked with the Clarke County School District and residents to bring this program back
to the community. Teens, ages 11-14, spent their Friday nights in June and July participating in a variety of activities including chess, dance, gaming stations, flag football, painting, music, and much more. A mural portraying the legacy of Hot Corner was completed near the intersection of West Washington and East Lumpkin streets. The nearby Hot Corner was the center of commerce and culture for black Athenians for many years. The mural depicts several local figures, as well as figures who are representative of the history surrounding the area. Miami artist Elio Mercado led the large-scale project with the assistance of Athens artist Broderick Flanigan. The project was coordinated by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission. An official ribbon-cutting for this project takes place on August 21 at 5:30 p.m. Downtown Athens hosted the annual
Star Spangled Classic on June 29. Thousands of people attended the event that featured children’s activities, a concert by the Funk Brotherhood, and an amazing fireworks display launched from the Classic Center parking deck. This year’s event also marked the debut of the new Leisure Services mobile stage to replace the previous 22-year-old stage. Sales tax funds from a project of SPLOST 2011 helped fund the new stage, along with other replacement items at the end of their lifecycle. Leisure Services coordinated the Star Spangled Classic in partnership with the Athens Downtown Development Authority, and the ACCGOV Central Services, Fire and Emergency Services, Police, Sheriff, and Solid Waste Departments. In January, the Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund awarded $300,000 jointly to the ACCGOV Sustainability Office and the Athens Land Trust for energy conservation, water conservation, and urban forest restoration in the West Broad neighborhood. Over the next 24 months, this project will provide activities to strengthen youth development and neighborhood engagement. In May, students from the University of Georgia started a project to support the data analysis for this project. The ACCGOV Community Forestry Coordinator has been working with project partners to assess the condition of trees in the neighborhood. To date, 128 trees have been documented on 27 neighborhood properties. As part of the grant-funded pilot, residents were asked to participate in reducing energy or water usage. A review of the data revealed one property owner was using 13 times what neighboring residents use due to a leak. Youth from the ACCGOV and Athens Land Trust Young Urban Builders Program diagnosed and corrected the underground leak. As a result, the resident’s water usage dropped to 50 gallons a day and her monthly water bill went from $877 to less than $100. I hope you learned something today watching Snapshot Six about our programs and activities around the six strategic commitments. We hope to see you next month.