City Council June 1

North Augusta City Council met via GoToMeeting on Monday. 

North Augusta City Council on Monday evening gave approval to the first phase of a Downtown Greeneway Connector during its virtual meeting.

Council first voted on a resolution authorizing the city to enter into an agreement for professional civil engineering services with Cranston Engineering Group, P.C. for the project.

According to the resolution, eight firms responded to a “Request for Qualifications” and were reviewed by a committee, which ranked the first and determined that Cranston Engineering Group will provide on-call design services for the project.

The committee consisted of Tom Zeaser, director of engineering and public works; Rick Meyer, director of parks, recreation and tourism; Rachelle Moody, interim city administrator; Mayor Bob Pettit; and council member Fletcher Dickert.

The project will do what it sounds like: bring the miles-long Greeneway into downtown North Augusta.

Phase one will include a streetscape project on Bluff Avenue.

The work authorization for the first phase of the project is to be funded by Capital Projects Sales Tax III and shall not exceed $150,000 without further City Council authorization, according to the resolution.

City Council also passed a resolution authorizing the restoration of the Hammond’s Ferry soccer field.

The funding for the project will come from the Utilities Construction fund. The low bid for the project came from Wilson Sports Turf, and the project amount is $88,650.

City Council tabled an ordinance that, if passed in the future, would allow Superior Construction Company to use an acre of land the city owns near the 5th Street Bridge. The company is being contracted by the city of Augusta to restore the bridge and convert it to a pedestrian walkway. The company requested use of the property as a laydown and staging yard. 

The resolution was tabled following a study session discussion of whether or not the city should be compensated for the use of the property. 

Council member Pat Carpenter said she disagrees with the idea of charging for the use of the property.

“I really don’t think we should charge anything, I think this is something that the two cities can work together with, and yes it might be something people’s done in past years, but I think one of the big things with Augusta and North Augusta, we don’t seem to sort of go along with each other and I think this is a door open right here,” she said.

Council member David McGhee said it's something that is done often. 

"As a contractor, that’s standard operation, I mean, if you’re using someone’s property you compensate them,” he said. “It’s always in your budget, I’ve done it numerous times. It's standard practice.”

Other City Council action:

• City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of an ordinance to abandon a road right-of-way in Hammond’s Ferry.

• City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of an ordinance to allow for a procedure for electronic meetings to be held in the case of a state of emergency.

• City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of an ordinance to annex around 1.95 acres of land on West Five Notch Road.

• City Council passed a resolution to establish a small business grant program in response to COVID-19. The resolution passed 6-1, with Dickert opposed.

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.