North Augusta City Council on Monday evening unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the contract for the city’s new city administrator.

The city announced in April the appointment of Col. Jim Clifford as city administrator. Monday’s resolution officially states that Clifford will be employed in that position and authorizes a contractual employment agreement with him.

Clifford is currently the garrison commander of Ft. Gordon. He has held that position since July 2018.

Clifford made a brief appearance during the virtual meeting and offered a thumbs up following the passage of the resolution. He will begin the job in North Augusta on Aug. 17.

The employment agreement was posted as part of the meeting backup agendas Tuesday afternoon.

The employment agreement is in effect until Dec. 31, 2022, and will be extended by two years unless the mayor determines that the automatic extension should not be effective.

The agreement also states that Clifford’s annual salary will be $142,755.25. “Upon continued employment Mr. Clifford will receive a 5% increase in salary each year during the first full pay period in January for three (3) years, beginning January 2021,” the agreement states.

The agreement also states that Clifford must establish residence within city limits within the first three years of employment.

City Council also unanimously passed the first of two readings of an ordinance that, if passed on second reading, will allow for City Council, Planning Commission, Board of Appeals and other city agencies to meet electronically during a declared state of emergency.

City Council on April 6 passed an emergency ordinance establishing a procedure for meeting virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ordinance up for consideration Monday night would extend that ability to future state of emergency declarations.

City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of an ordinance that authorizes the city to enter into a lease agreement with Riverside H.F. LLC.

Riverside H.F. plans to build an event facility in Hammond’s Ferry, the ordinance states.

“In order to provide adequate parking for the facility, the developers proposed to construct and maintain a parking lot on property belonging to the City with the understanding that the City and general public would be able to utilize such parking when not required for the developers facility,” the ordinance states.

City Council also removed from table and voted on the first reading of an ordinance that, if passed on second reading, would abandon a road right of way in Hammond’s Ferry.

The ordinance was tabled during the May 4 meeting for review, since the city owned the property as part of a land purchase.

“There’s no use that the city has for them,” Pettit said of the property in question on Monday night, stating he believes City Council ought to approve the ordinance.

• City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of an ordinance that grants easements to Dominion Energy for placement of utilities in Hammond’s Ferry.

• City Council passed a resolution and the first of two readings of an ordinance related to the annexation of around 1.95 acres of property on West Five Notch Road owned by The Hammonds at Five Notch, LLC. Libby Hodges, planning and development director for the city, said the piece of property would be the “back quarter or so” of the Hammonds at Five Notch subdivision.

All City Council members were present for the meeting.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges. 

Lindsey is the North Augusta reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2017, and grew up in Hodges, SC.