Public Information Office Media Releases

3 Stories
Posted on: July 25, 2014

Education and Tips on Reducing Mosquitoes and Avoiding Their Bites

The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government offers several resources and tips to help keep citizens safe during the upcoming months when mosquitoes can be most active.

To avoid annoying skin irritation, as well as diseases such as West Nile virus and L...Read on...

Additional Mosquito Control Information & Links
Posted on: July 21, 2014

Athens-Clarke County & Cortona, Italy Honor 45 Years of Cooperation

Cortona Mayor Receives Key to the Classic City from ACC Commissioner Allison Wright

Cortona, Italy, the University of Georgia, and Athens have a long history of cooperation and collaboration. The City of Athens and Cortona entered into a sister city relationship in 1978, which has continued since the unification of Athens-Clarke County in 1991. This relationship was initiated to support the nationally-recognized Cortona Study Abroad Program at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art that was established in 1970 by founder and former Program Director John D. Kehoe.

Now celebrating its 45th consecutive summer and with over 8,000 alumni, the University of Georgia's residential center in Cortona, Italy continues to enrich the lives of participating students and faculty. Shortly after arrival this summer, the 2014 UGA Cortona Summer Program participated in an inauguration ceremony to welcome students and faculty to their host city of Cortona.

On behalf of Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson, Athens-Clarke County District 4 Commissioner Allison Wright presented a Key to the Classic City to newly-elected Cortona Mayor Franchesca Basanieri during the ceremony. The celebration also included a presentation of scholarships offered by the city and businesses of Cortona to four UGA Cortona students. The event concluded with a reception and performance by local traditional drummers and flag throwers.

Wright, who is visiting Cortona while her husband teaches with the UGA Cortona Summer Program, also presented a key to Andrea Vignini, the former Mayor of Cortona for the past 10 years, at a University of Georgia Celebration for Independence Day.

The Key to the Classic City for Athens-Clarke County, Georgia is presented to distinguished persons, honored guests, and friends of the community. The custom of presenting a key to the city to a person can be traced back to medieval times. During these times, admission into a city was often hampered by many restrictions and guards, which often included walls and locked gates. Presenting a key to a city to a person allowed them to literally come and go as they pleased by unlocking these gates. The key symbolized free entry and was a sign of trust in a person’s virtue.

Keys to the Classic City are given out only by a sitting Mayor of Athens-Clarke County and are considered honored and prized possessions by recipients. Each mayor designs his or her own unique key; no two are alike.

For more information on the UGA Cortona program, visit or contact Chris Robinson, Director of the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program for Cortona, at 706-542-4519 or cpr71@uga.eduRead on...

Inauguration & Presentation Photo Gallery
Posted on: July 15, 2014

USDOT Notifies Athens-Ben Epps Airport of Essential Air Service Funding Termination on September 30

USDOT EAS Final Order

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently notified Athens-Ben Epps Airport that funding through the national Essential Air Service (EAS) program would be terminated as of September 30, 2014 and the EAS carrier - SeaPort Airlines - may terminate service on or after this date. SeaPort Airlines is expected to end its service to Athens, although the airline has not made any official notification.

Athens-Ben Epps Airport is one of nine airports of Georgia's 104 airports considered "commercial." Commercial airports are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to offer ticketed flights to the public. These airports also handle general aviation flights, such as business aircraft, charters, flight training, military, and government flights. Athens and Macon house the two commercial airports in Georgia whose air service is subsidized through the EAS. The USDOT also notified Macon of the termination of their subsidy.

Athens' passenger air service is subsidized by $1.6 million annually through the EAS program. The EAS program was created in response to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 to ensure that during deregulation airlines did not abandon the smaller and less profitable airports, thus leaving them without a connection to the United States' air transportation system. The program was amended by Congress in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to require a minimum average of 10 passengers per day for airports within 175 miles of a medium or large commercial airport in order to maintain eligibility for the subsidy.

Although Athens-Ben Epps Airport’s airline ridership has made improvements since SeaPort Airlines took over commercial air service in the fall of 2012, the total number of passengers for FY13 fell short of the 10 passenger per day minimum requirement. The official USDOT average count for Athens was 5.9 passengers per day in FY13; it has not exceeded 10 passengers per day since 2009. As this is less than the 10 passenger per day minimum requirement, the USDOT notified Athens-Ben Epps Airport of its intention this spring to terminate Athens' EAS eligibility. Affected airports may submit a petition for a one-year waiver of the 10 passenger per day enplanement if they can show cause that it was a "temporary decline." The Athens-Ben Epps Airport has not made a decision on whether or not it will request a waiver.

The USDOT has also notified Athens-Ben Epps Airport that any airport receiving an EAS subsidy located within 210 miles of a medium or large hub airport such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport cannot exceed a $200 per passenger EAS subsidy effective FY15 to remain eligible for the subsidy. Currently, the amount of the subsidy per passenger to Athens is estimated to be at least three times the maximum per passenger requirement.

Athens-Ben Epps Airport will keep its status as a commercial airport since large charter aircraft such as collegiate athletic charters operate unscheduled passenger flights into Athens. Passengers on these charters currently outnumber the scheduled service passengers and are expected to continue to increase as the current runway extension project is completed to allow for some flights of close to 150 passengers. The airport will remain fully functional with over 100 daily general aviation flights and periodic commercial charters in addition to these athletic team charters.

An airport that loses its EAS subsidy may reapply for the EAS program in the future if it can attract an airline that can operate within the guidelines of the EAS program. The Airport Authority continues to pursue the possibility of developing a program for the active recruitment of a new subsidized or non-subsidized airline.

For more information, contact Athens-Ben Epps Airport Director Tim Beggerly at 706-613-3420 or visit on...

USDOT Final Order of EAS Eligibility

Public Utilities & Water Conservation

2 Stories
Posted on: June 25, 2014

Athens-Clarke County Annual Water Quality Report Now Available

(Athens, GA) Again this past year, the county’s drinking water has met or surpassed all state and federal standards for safe drinking water. The 2013 Water Quality Report, produced by the Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department (PUD), is now ava...Read more »

See the Water Quality Report
Posted on: October 3, 2013

Athens-Clarke County Wins 2013 WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award

Las Vegas, Nevada—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized the Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office with a 2013 WaterSense Partner of the Year award. The Water Conservation Office was honored during the WaterSmart Innovations Conference for its commitment to water efficiency and outstanding efforts to support the WaterSense program during 2012.

In 2012 alone, WaterSense labeled products and new homes helped Americans save more than 202 billion gallons of water, or more than the amount of water needed to supply all the homes in Colorado for a year. More than 2,700 utility, manufacturer, retail, builder, organizational, and professional partners helped WaterSense realize these accomplishments, but every year a few in particular are recognized for their significant contributions to the program.

“All of our WaterSense partners have taken steps to reduce our nation’s water use, but several stood out in 2012 for their commitment to the WaterSense program and collaborative efforts to promote WaterSense-labeled products, new homes and outreach and educational programs,” said EPA’s acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner. “We are pleased to honor Athens-Clarke County for their efforts that support our mission to protect the future of our nation’s water supply.”

The Water Conservation Office was honored as Partner of the Year for promoting water efficiency through the use of WaterSense labeled products. The WCO put tremendous energy into Fix a Leak Week 2012. They held two “Train the Trainer” workshops for ten volunteers who then visited twelve churches and non-profit organizations to performed water audits, identified leaks, and suggested opportunities for water conservation. Fix a Leak Week 2012 culminated with a water-saving makeover for the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) building. In partnership with volunteers and a local plumbing company, the WCO replaced nine water guzzling toilets, 15 aerators, and 1 pre-rinse spray valve with WaterSense labeled products. The ACCA cut their water use in half after the retrofit, a savings of about 130,000 gallons a year. Throughout the year the Water Conservation Office conducted a number of workshops on fixing common household leaks and promoted the use of WaterSense Certified Irrigation Professionals.
“We were honored when we learned about winning Partner of the Year,” said Marilyn Hall, ACC Water Conservation Coordinator. “We were up against the biggest utilities in the United States. I think WaterSense was impressed with how we promote the label in unique ways such as through social media and the Christmas Parade.” This weekend, Georgians can purchase WaterSense appliances and fixtures and Energy Star labeled appliances tax free. The Sales Tax Holiday on WaterSense-labeled products will start Friday, October 4, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. and will continue through the weekend until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 6, 2013.
To learn more about the 2013 WaterSense Partner of the Year Awards program and WaterSense labeled products, please visit


WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program's inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 487 billion gallons of water and $8.9 billion in water and energy billsRead on...

Solid Waste News

1 Story
Posted on: May 1, 2014

KACCB Litter Index

The KACCB Litter Index is a simple tool that allows a quick visual assessment of the amount of litter present in our community. The data obtained through the Litter Index will determine the types of community improvement programs needed to address current...Read on...

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