North Augusta City Council gave the go-ahead to purchase an alternate property on which to locate Public Safety facilities on Monday evening.

On a 4-3 vote, Council passed a resolution that would execute an option to purchase 311 West Martintown Road in order to build a new fire station and, potentially, Public Safety headquarters. The price given for the property is $250,000.

The city already owns two properties on Georgia Avenue – known as the Flythe and Seven Gables properties – it planned to build the facilities on but has received backlash due to the historic nature of the properties and the neighborhood feel of the area.

The option to purchase contract gives the city the ability to purchase the property, and City Administrator Todd Glover said following the meeting that the issue would not come back to Council before the final purchase of the property. The property – referred to by Council as the “Clay Street property” – is owned by John C. Smith Jr. Family, LLP.

In favor of purchasing the West Martintown property were Council members David McGhee, Eric Presnell, Kevin Toole and Mayor Bob Pettit. Those opposed to the purchase were Bob Brooks, Pat Carpenter and Fletcher Dickert.

Dickert asked at the end of the meeting that, since the will of Council is to go to the West Martintown property, staff prepare whatever documents are needed to sell the Flythe and Seven Gables properties.

Council also gave approval to two ordinances that would grant easements to Dominion Energy for utility undergrounding. The first ordinance was passed on third and final reading and would allow undergrounding on West Five Notch Road. The second ordinance would allow undergrounding at Bergen Place West subdivision and was passed on first and second reading; a third reading will take place before final approval.

Council unanimously passed a resolution that would enter into a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior for Light Detecting and Ranging (LIDAR) data and images.

Glover said during Council’s study session that the data would help with stormwater and topographical needs and would be utilized by a number of different departments in the city.

The city’s portion of the LIDAR data is $10,000 and Glover proposed it be taken from the Capital Projects Sales Tax fund.

A resolution that would grant a contract for construction of the riverfront park in Riverside Village was tabled by Council on Monday night.

Dickert made the motion to table the resolution, stating he felt Council needed more time to study the numbers on the project. The motion was seconded by Toole and passed 6-1 with Brooks opposed.

Following a value engineering exercise and negotiations, the base bid totaled $1,972,535.

The resolution, if passed in the future, would award the contract to R.D. Brown Contractors.

At the start of the meeting, Council had two recognitions.

Karolina Viquez, who works in the city’s finance department, was named Employee of the Quarter for April, May and June 2019.

The city was also recognized during the meeting for winning the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Achievement Award for Economic Development. The award was given based on the city’s work in Riverside Village.

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.