Below is a list of frequently asked questions that we often hear over the telephone. In an effort to save you time we have listed these questions by department. You may select one of these departments below.

Athens Fire Department
Community Development Department
Human Resources Department
Athens Police Department
Parks and Recreation
Department of Finance
Department of Public Works

Athens Fire Department

Do I need a permit to burn inside the City?
Yes! Call the Athens Fire Department at 744-2762 to request permission to burn and receive instructions on obtaining your permit.

Does the City offer home fire inspections?
Yes! You can call the Athens Fire Department, Fire Prevention Division at 744-2761. He will set a convenient time to come to your home to check your smoke detectors and to help you look for fire hazards.

My fire extinguisher needs refilling, who do I call?
The Athens Fire Department does not refill fire extinguishers. We can’t recommend any one company, but there are several different companies. You can find their names and numbers in the Yellow Pages under Fire Extinguishers.

Who can I get to clean my chimney?
The Athens Fire Department does not clean chimneys but will be glad to come and check your chimney for any fire hazard problems. You can call the Fire Prevention Team at 744-2761 and request this service. We can’t recommend any one chimney sweep but there are several local companies. You can find their names in the Yellow Pages under Chimney Cleaning, Building and Repairing.

May I bring my child or a group of children for a tour of the Fire Department?
Yes! The Athens Fire Department welcomes all guests. We do request that you call and reserve a time slot for your visit. The Fire Department will have fires hats and badges for the children. To be able to ride on one of our fire engines, each child must be with their parent or have written parental permission.

Community Development Department

What kind of building permits does the City of Athens require and why?
The City of Athens requires building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits. These permits are required for jobs as small as a storage building in the backyard to as large as the construction of a major industry. The permitting process is a protective measure for the property owner and the city. Inspectors are charged with making sure that buildings are built to local, state and national standards.

Where do I get a building, electrical, plumbing or mechanical permit?
The Department of Community Development is located in the Athens Municipal Building, 815 North Jackson, Athens, TN and is in charge of all building permits.

Who do I contact for information regarding the City owned Cedar Grove, Sullins, and Hammonds Cemeteries?
Codes Enforcement Officer Gayle Petitt will be glad to assist you with questions about the cemeteries. Gayle can be reached at 423-744-2751.

How do I schedule an inspection for residential, commercial, and industrial projects within the city limits of Athens?
Inspections are scheduled through the office of the Building Inspector, Gene McConkey. He can be reached at 423-744-2752 from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.

Who is responsible for zoning compliance and subdivision regulations?
Each of these items is the responsibility of the Community Development Department. Please contact the Director of Community Development, Mr. Anthony Casteel, at 423-744-2750 with questions about these and any other related items.


How any members serve on the Athens City Council?

What are the names of the Athens City Council members?
Mayor Hal Buttram , Vice Mayor William Bo PerkinsonAnn Davis and Dick Pelley.

When does the Athens City Council meet?
The Athens City Council meets in regular session on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Where does the Athens City Council Meet?
The Athens City Council meets in regular session at the Athens Municipal Building located at 815 North Jackson Street.

What must I do to get an item placed on the Athens City Council Agenda?
It is recommended that you submit a written request to the Athens City Council, Post Office Box 849, Athens, TN, 37371-0849. This request must be received at least fourteen (14) days prior to the regularly-scheduled meeting.

May I address the Athens City Council without having an item on the meeting agenda?
Yes! During the regular council meeting, the audience is given an opportunity to address the City Council. When the Mayor opens the meeting to petitions and requests from the audience, a petitioner is asked to state his/her name and address for the record and then is allowed to address the Council relative to a need within the City. There is a three minute time limit per speaker.

As a citizen of the City of Athens, I would like to volunteer my service on a city-appointed board/committee. What should I do?
Contact the City Manager’s Office at 423-744-2702 and ask that a committee application along with a description of the committees/boards be mailed to you. Complete the application and return it to the City Manager’s Office at Post Office Box 849, Athens, TN, 37371-0849. Your application will be retained on file for two years; and if there is a vacancy on the committee of your choice, your application will be considered by the City Council.

Do I have to be a resident of the City of Athens to serve on a citizen committee?
The majority of committee appointees must be residents of the City of Athens, with exceptions being the Athens Regional Planning Commission and the Board of Examiners.

Who is the Beer Board and when do they meet?
The members of the Athens City Council make up the Beer Board. The Beer Board meets as needed on the 3rd Tuesday of each month during the regular Athens City Council meeting.

How do I apply for a Beer permit?
Contact the Athens City Managers office at 423-744-2702 for complete instructions on applying for a Beer Permit. Click here if you wish to view and print a set of directions online.

Human Resources Department

How do I find out about job vacancies with the City of Athens?
All job vacancies are posted in each department throughout the City. In addition, positions may be advertised in the local newspaper, trade publications or listed with the Employment Security Office.

How do I apply for a job with the City?
An application for employment with the City of Athens must be completed for each position. You may receive an application in person by visiting the Human Resources Department in the Athens Municipal Building at 815 North Jackson Street, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You may also request an application by writing to: City of Athens, Human Resources Department, Post Office Box 849, Athens, TN 37371-0849.

What are the qualifications and pay for a specific job?
The City of Athens has a classification/compensation plan. There is a written job description and pay range for each position. Upon request, we will provide both a copy of the job description and the pay range for the job in question.

What happens to my job application?
Applications are kept on file for a period of one (1) year after which they are destroyed. You may request that your application be brought up to date any time during that period and it will be kept on file.

Do you have any job openings?
To find out about current job opportunities with the City of Athens contact the Human Resources Department at 423-744-2719.

Athens Police Department

When is City Court?
Athens City Court meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at the Athens Municipal Building, 815 North Jackson Street.

How do I find out about driving school?
Call 423-744-2730 and ask for the information or call 1-800-773-0040 to the Tennessee Driver Improvement Program, Inc. office.

Where do I get a copy of an accident/incident report?
Copies of reports can be picked up at the Athens Police Department between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The charge is $3.00 per copy.

Do I have to appear in Athens City Court for a ticket?
The fine and court cost may be paid at the Athens Police Department, 815 North Jackson Street between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday any time prior to the court date. The court appearance is not required after the citation is paid. However, you may appear at Athens City Court on the appointed date if you so desire.

Can the Athens Police Department give me a copy of my driving record for insurance purposes?
No. The City of Athens cannot provide that information, but it may be obtained by contacting the Tennessee Department of Safety at 615-741-3954.

Where is the Athens Municipal Building?
One block north on Jackson Street at traffic light number five (5), at the intersection of North Jackson Street and Highway 30. The address is 815 North Jackson Street.

What is the telephone number for the McMinn County Justice Center?

When and where is Juvenile Court?
Juvenile Court is held in the General Sessions Courtroom at the McMinn County Courthouse at 2:00 p.m. on Mondays. The street address is 6 East Madison Avenue.

Where do I pay a Tennessee Highway Patrol ticket?
Tennessee Highway Patrol citations may be paid on the second floor of the McMinn County Courthouse.

Where do I get a copy of an accident report that was worked by the Tennessee Highway Patrol?
Contact the Tennessee Highway Patrol office in Chattanooga at 423-634-6890.

How do I get a permit to carry a gun in Tennessee?
Contact the Tennessee Drivers License examining station on Highway 30 for information. The telephone number is 423-744-2812. The station is located between Athens and Etowah approximately 3 miles east of Athens.

Parks and Recreation

How do I make a park pavilion reservation?
Park pavilion reservations must be made in person at the Athens Municipal Building, 815 North Jackson Street. The fee is $2.00 per hour with a $5.00 minimum for the basic pavilion. Caterers kitchens where available have an additional charge. You may call the Recreation Department at 423-744-2704 to inquire about the availability of a date.

May I fish in the pond at the Athens Regional Park and Knox park?
Yes, however all fishing is regulated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. According to their 2000 regulations you must have a license if you are over the age of 12.

What Daily Post Athenian Info Line number do I call for athletic event schedules and cancellations and for up coming events and classes?
Athletic information is extension 1661 and the event information can be found at extension 1660. You must first dial the Info Line at 745-3100 to access these extensions.

How do I get a booth at the Mid-East Tennessee Regional Fair?
While the Fair is held on City property, it is actually a private organization administered by a board of directors. The Fair’s phone number is 745-6947.

Where is the Parks and Recreation office?
The Parks and Recreation Department is located in:

Athens Municipal Building
815 North Jackson Street
Athens, TN 37371-0849

Department of Finance

When are City of Athens property taxes due?
Property taxes for the current year may be paid without penalty from October 1 until the last day of February of the next year.

What is the property tax rate for Athens?
The present property tax rate is $1.1147 per $100 of assessed value. Assessed values are based upon the following percentages of appraised values: Commercial property 40%, Personal Property 30%, Residential property 25%, and public utilities 55%.

Who needs a business license?
The City of Athens follows the regulations of the State of Tennessee Business Tax Act when determining who needs a business license. Most businesses require a license. You may call the Department of Finance at 423-744-2711 for questions regarding business licenses.

Do I need a separate business license for both the City of Athens and McMinn County?

Is there any assistance for payment of property taxes?
Yes. The State of Tennessee assists elderly and disabled individuals in paying property taxes. Eligibility is based primarily on income limits. You may call the Department of Finance at 423-744-2711 for questions regarding tax relief.

Do I pay for commercial and residential garbage pickup?
Yes. Residential garbage fees are $7.50 per month and are billed through the Athens Utility Board on your monthly statement. Commercial billing is done through the Department of Finance on a monthly or quarterly basis. You may call the Department of Finance at 423-744-2713 for commercial rates.

Department of Public Works

What is the leaf pickup schedule for 2001?
Click here for a link to that information.

How do I get brush/junk picked up?
Contact Public Works @ (423) 744-2745 Mon. – Fri. 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. to be placed on a work list. You will be asked for your name, address, phone number and a brief description of what you have for pick up. There is no charge for this service providing the amount of debris is less than 1 dump truck load. For debris that consists of a full truckload or more, a fee of $15.00/truck load will be charged. Public Works will pick up and transport the following types of items to the Landfill for disposal: Brush (no bigger than 3 in. in diameter) Furniture Junk (yard sale/knick knack items) Appliances (if compressors are removed)

How do I get a pride car?
Public Works has Pride Car containers for disposing of brush, junk, furniture, and appliances that can be loaded by the resident. You must call to schedule for a container to be delivered to your address. There is no charge for this service; however, these containers are for residential/non-profit use only. Contact Public Works @ (423) 744-2748 Mon. – Thurs. 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. or (423) 744-2749 Mon. – Fri. 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

Which holidays affect residential garbage pickup and how do they affect the pickup?
The City of Athens observes the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Christmas Holiday(s)
  • Good Friday
  • 4th of July
  • Thanksgiving

Public Works Sanitation Division picks up residential garbage Monday thru Thursday. The garbage collection schedule will be affected by these holidays only if they occur on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If these holidays occur on a Friday, the garbage schedule is not affected. All other holidays will not affect the schedule.
When one of these holidays does occur on Monday through Thursday, the schedule will be affected by making the schedule one (1) day late from the day of the holiday thru the remainder of the workweek.
Tuesday is the holiday
Monday Run regular schedule
Tuesday Holiday
Wednesday Run Tuesday’s schedule
Thursday Run Wednesday’s schedule
Friday Run Thursday’s schedule

How do I adopt a pet from the City of Athens Animal Shelter?
The Animal Shelter is open to the public Monday thru Friday 1:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. and Saturday 12:00 Noon to 4:00 P.M. for adoptions. Potential adopters are required to fill out an adoption contract and a fee of $25.00/dog or $20.00/cat is collected at the time of adoption. Contact the Animal Shelter @ (423) 744-2747 for additional information on adoptions and the low cost spay/neuter program.

Who maintains the traffic signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings on our city streets?
Public Works Traffic Control Division is responsible for the installation and maintenance of traffic signs and signals as well as highway pavement markings. This division sweeps, flushes, and mows right-of-ways on city streets in addition to picking up litter, leaves and brush. Many of the streets that run throughout the city are in fact state highways or routes. In those instances the State of Tennessee is the responsible party.

Contact the Public Works Traffic Control Division at (423) 744-2755 for more information.