The Augusta City Council continued to take action to be as transparent as possible to residents of Augusta.

The Augusta City Council continued to take action to be as transparent as possible to residents of Augusta.

The city now places the entire agenda packet online with information so citizens can find out as much information as possible about the actions of the governing body.

Monday night, the council voted to discontinue the new consent calendar, at least temporarily.

Councilor Sue Jones said with the controversy in the city after the council added the consent calendar at a previous meeting, she made a motion to discontinue using it. The measure passed 7-1 with Mike Rawlings voting no.

On Monday’s consent calendar, there were five items. Only two items passed with no discussion.

But during the council comments portion of the meeting Councilor Jason Lowery said he saw some benefits to the consent calendar as long as it was used correctly.

Assistant City Manager Josh Shaw told the governing body most boards use the device to streamline meetings.

“If the council could discuss what your comfort level is, you could develop a policy for which items are included on the consent calendar,” Shaw said.

The council will continue this discussion in the future.

In other actions, there was no comment during the public hearing on the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program providing property tax reimbursements for renovation and construction projects in the NRP area.

The amended plan only includes areas south of Belmont rather than the entire city limits.

The council also received updates on several water projects other than the new El Dorado water line.

Another project will keep the city lake as full as possible. The council is in the planning stages of a project that would allow the city to divert water from the Walnut River to the City Lake nine months a year.

The water would be taken from the river and travel through a pipeline down 70th Street to sedimentation ponds on the north end of the city lake.

The timeline to for this project shows it being completed by the end of 2015.

Another city water supply project is still underway. The late summer floods last year caused a break in the line that delivers water from Santa Fe Lake to Augusta in the Walnut River. The city will probably eventually be reimbursed for about 85 percent of the cost of this project from state and federal emergency grants.

As soon as funding is secured, work can begin on the project to restore the city’s third alternative water supply.

The council also received an estimate from MKEC that completing the 7th Street water supply loop with a 12-inch line would cost about $600,000. This loop would be important to future economic development in the area.

The new Walmart Supercenter had to install a large water tank to have enough water to suppress fire. This water line could help support development in the area in the future so the governing body is studying the possibility of doing the work.

 

Kent Bush can be reached at kbush@butlercountytimesgazette.com.