The Augusta City Council approved more than $60,000 in utility abatements Monday night.
After they discussed the issue two weeks ago and received financial statements from all of the groups requesting the assistance with utilities, the council voted unanimously to approve the requests.
The only changes from 2013 requests include raising the amount grants to the Augusta Caring Center from $3,100 to $3,400. The total dollar amount of the requests – which included the Arts Council, Chamber of Commerce, Caring Center, Historical Society, Library, Senior Center, Kansas Museum of Military History, Mid-Kansas CAP – totaled $58,600. The council also approved free service to both Augusta Youth Soccer and Augusta Girls Softball organizations.
The council also approved 2014 Cereal Malt Beverage licenses. That measure passed 5-1 with Mike Rawlings voting no as he does on almost every vote concerning alcohol sales. Council members Jamie Crum and Ron Reavis were absent Monday night.
The council approved licenses for Pizza Hut and Zorro's Tacos for consumption on premises. Presto, Dillons, Wal-Mart, Casey's General Store and Jumpstart were all permitted for sales for consumption off premises.
The total revenue from license sales was $450.
In a related item, the council approved special alcohol grant applications for next year. One-third of tax revenues from the sale of alcoholic beverages is put in a special alcohol fund that is used to support programs that help prevent alcoholism and drug abuse.
The Family Life Center received a $5,000 grant from this fund to support their programs. Students Against Destructive Decisions also received $5,000, as did Tri-County CASA.
Youth Leadership Butler received a grant for $500 to bring the total to $15,500 in grants approved.
Kent Bush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.