ACC-mail :: What's New with the Unified Government

ACC-mail :: April 28, 2017


What's New with the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County

  • FY18 Mayor's Recommended Budget & Public Meetings
  • TSPLOST 2018 Submitted Projects & Comment Form Online
  • Twilight Criterium Road Closures for April 28-30
  • DUI/Drug Court Named 1 of 4 National Academy Courts
  • Manager's Snapshot - April Edition
  • Video: Accountability Courts
  • Superior Court Chief Judge Sweat Retiring July 31
  • Trash 2 Treasure Sale on May 5-6
Mayor's Recommended FY18 Budget

FY18 Mayor's Recommended Budget & Public Meetings


The Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Mayor’s Recommended Budget for the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County for July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 has been submitted to the Commission for review. The final budget is scheduled for a vote on Tues., June 6 at the Mayor & Commission's Regular Session.

This budget is balanced with limited reductions to current services. The FY18 Mayor’s Recommended Budget proposes a millage rate of 13.95 for property tax year 2017, which is the same millage rate as FY17.

A few of the major new initiatives include:

  • $245,000 for a new Transit “Flex Route” in the north and east of Athens-Clarke County, which will provide flexible transportation access to underserved areas, offset in part by a reduction in evening services from 9:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.;
  • the establishment of a Police Residency Program for Athens-Clarke County police officers who locate to or live in Athens-Clarke County with a monthly stipend and relocation assistance beginning in January 2018;
  • the transfer of two existing positions from the Planning Department to create a Geographic Information Office and one existing position from the Leisure Services Department and one existing position from the Central Services Department to create an Sustainability Office, both reporting directly to the Manager, to improve these important organizational functions;
  • $1.5 million across all funds to provide a 1% pay increase, plus a $300 across-the-board pay increase, for Unified Government employees;
  • $200,000 toward the recruitment and capture of scheduled passenger air service at Athens Ben Epps Airport; and
  • $75,000 to provide seed funding for initiatives that emerge from the Envision Athens program.

A series of public meetings on the FY18 Budget and three Taxpayer's Bill of Rights public hearings as required by law due to a property tax revenue increase will take place during May and June.

Browse through the full budget and calendar of meetings.


TSPLOST 2018 Submitted Projects & Comment Form

TSPLOST 2018 Submitted Projects & Comment Form Online


Submitted projects for inclusion in a possible Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) 2018 program for Athens-Clarke County are now available online for public review at www.athensclarkecounty.com/tsplost.

36 projects were submitted by departments, local organizations, and residents with a total cost of $256 million. Of these 36 projects, 25 projects also have alternate versions with reduced associated costs and scope for consideration. All of the potential projects and alternate potential projects are available online.

The TSPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee is a group of 22 citizens responsible for recommending a list of candidate projects for adoption by the Mayor and Commission. The committee will select a list of potential projects totaling no more than $154.5 million, representing 150% of the available funding, for review by the Mayor and Commission before narrowing projects to total 100% of funding for further review.

Residents can submit public comments concerning any of these projects online at www.athensclarkecounty.com/tsplost and during a public forum on Wednesday, May 10 from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. at the Athens Regional Library at 2025 Baxter Street.

Twilight Criterium Street Closure Map

Twilight Criterium Road Closures for April 28-30


The Twilight Criterium bike race and associated events will necessitate road closures in downtown and around the North Oconee River near downtown this weekend.

Visit www.athensclarkecounty.com for PDF maps of the closures. 

DUI/Drug Court Named 1 of only 4 National Academy Courts in U.S.

DUI/Drug Court Named 1 of 4 National Academy Courts


The National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has named the Athens-Clarke County DUI/Drug Court in State Court as one of only four national academy courts in the United States. The Athens-Clarke County DUI/Drug Court was also selected as a national academy court in 2008, 2011, and 2014.

As an NCDC Academy Court, the Athens-Clarke County DUI/Drug Court will help develop, identify, and test national best practices for DWI Courts; provide technical assistance; and host jurisdictions interested in starting a DWI Court. DWI Courts have been shown to decrease recidivism by as much as 60%, all while saving $3.19 for every $1 of taxpayers money invested.

The Athens-Clarke County DUI/Drug Court was selected from over 700 DWI Courts nationwide and will serve a term of three years.

The National Center for DWI Courts will officially designate the program as an Academy Court during a special ceremony on May 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. on the front steps of the Courthouse at 325 East Washington Street.

Find out more about the DUI/Drug Court.

(For more on Accountability Courts such as the DUI/Drug Court, watch the video noted below to see how they are changing lives and saving taxpayer money.)

Manager's Snapshot

Manager's Snapshot - April Edition


The newest issue of the monthly Manager's Snapshot is now available. Snapshot gives an overview of the many activities and programs of the Unified Government over the last month.

Snapshot is organized by "strategic commitments" that the Mayor and Commission have developed to communicate what citizens should expect from their local government.

To download the most recent Snapshot for April, read past versions, or sign up for email or text notifications when a new Snapshot is released, visit www.athensclarkecounty.com/snapshot.

Accountability Courts in Athens-Clarke County

Video: Accountability Courts


Accountability Courts are collaborative courts that work to address the underlying cause of criminal activity rather than just punishing behavior.

Athens-Clarke County Accountability Courts not only save taxpayer money and reduce the jail population, but they are also saving lives and keeping families together.

Here are the current Accountability Courts in Athens-Clarke County:

  • DUI/Drug Court, State Court - Provides supervision & treatment to participants who have received two or more DUI charges. Athens-Clarke County's was recently named 1 of 4 Academy Courts in the nation.
  • Family Dependency Treatment Court, Juvenile Court - Provides supervision & treatment to participants who are facing termination of their parental rights through the Division of Family & Children Services.
  • Felony Drug Court, Superior Court - Provides supervision and treatment to participants who have one or more felony drug charges.
  • Treatment and Accountability Court, Superior Court - Provides supervision and treatment to participants whose crimes have stemmed from their mental illness and, in some cases, co-occurring substance abuse problems.
  • Veterans Court, Superior Court - Provides supervision and treatment to participants whose crimes have stemmed from their status as a veteran.
Find out more about Accountability Courts through this video that talks not only to the judges who run the programs, but also people whose lives were changed by them.
Superior Court Chief Judge David Sweat Retiring

Superior Court Chief Judge Sweat Retiring July 31


David R. Sweat, Chief Judge of the Superior Courts of the Western Judicial Circuit of the State of Georgia, will retire from active service effective July 31. Governor Nathan Deal will appoint an individual to serve for the remainder of the term, which expires on December 31, 2018.

Judge Sweat was elected in 2002 to the open seat on the Superior Court bench in Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County that was created when the late Judge Joseph J. Gaines retired. Before taking the bench, Judge Sweat practiced law in Athens for 23 years. Judge Sweat won re-election three times.

“During my 14-plus years in office, I have worked to create court programs and processes that will improve the lives of people in our community,” Judge Sweat said in announcing his retirement. “I am very proud of what our courts have accomplished while I have been in office.”

Read about some of Chief Judge Sweat's accomplishments - including creating the Treatment & Accountability Court and heading up major judicial SPLOST projects - over 14+ years in office.

Trash 2 Treasure - May 5 & 6

Trash 2 Treasure Sale on May 5-6


The Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful Trash 2 Treasure sale keeps usable items out of the landfill and raises money for beautification and environmental education in Athens.

The Vulture Pre-sale is Friday, May 5 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with a $3 per person admission and the Songbird Sale is Saturday, May 6 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. and admission is free.

The sale takes place at the CHaRM facility, located at 1005 College Avenue, Athens. 

This is a yard sale like no other; giving shoppers a chance to put the principle of REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE into action!

Find out more about the Trash 2 Treasure event.

ACC-mail is an occasional, brief e-mail newsletter providing information about the events, services, and activities of the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County.

ACC-mail is maintained by the Athens-Clarke County Public Information Office
(706-613-3795 / info@athensclarkecounty.com).

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