Construction on the amphitheater in North Augusta's Riverside Village development is underway, and funding for a fountain has been allocated. The size and cost of that fountain have yet to be decided, though.
On Dec. 2, Council met and voted 4-2 to authorize funds that include $100,000 for a non-performance fountain. On Monday, they will meet to vote on a resolution that would authorize additional funds, depending on the results of a grant application.
Council passed a resolution that allocates $2,608,000 to go toward the entire amphitheater, including the $100,000. That money is spread out between three funds: the Series 2017B Riverside Village bonds for $1.5 million, the Sales Tax III fund for $575,000, and the Capital Projects Fund for $533,000.
North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit said during the study session ahead of the meeting on Dec. 2 that the $100,000 for the fountain is under the Capital Projects Fund.
That $100,000 includes two basins, electrical, plumbing, jets and contingency money.
On Monday, Council will vote whether to commit additional funds for a show fountain in the park, which would be dependent on whether the city receives an Undiscovered SC grant from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Pettit said during last week's meeting, the performance fountain will cost roughly $450,000. That price includes the $100,000 for the basic necessities included in last week's resolution.
Pettit described the performance fountain as a "mini-Bellagio." The Bellagio is a hotel with a large iconic fountain in Las Vegas.
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Rick Meyer said there is the option for the grant, which would require an equal match from the city and would provide up to $200,000 toward a performance fountain.
The resolution City Council will vote on Monday does not include the amount of the grant or the one-to-one match, but the agenda for the meeting does say the funds are cotangent on the city receiving the grant.
Along with the grant, Meyer said there is a corporate sponsor that has shown interest in providing funds for the fountain.
City Council approved in August the contract for the construction of the amphitheater. The contract is for $1,972,535 and was awarded to R.D. Brown Contractors. The $2.6 million figure includes the original contract, change orders, design, testing and other expenses including contingency.
Meyer said construction for the park is on schedule at the moment, and the city is planning for a grand opening concert in May.
“That’s what we’re shooting for, and we’re playing it safe, we’re playing it conservatively,” he said.
Meyer said even if the $100,000 in last week's resolution is the only funding that is approved, the park will have a basic fountain.
North Augusta City Council will meet Monday, Dec. 9, to vote on the resolution committing the matching funds for the state grant. That is the only thing on the agenda for the meeting. A study session will take place at 6 p.m., with the meeting at 7 p.m.