City Council helps out Department of Safety and Lions Club

Local police officers are going to be safer thanks to the Augusta Lions Club and the Augusta City Council.   
 Augusta Police Chief Tyler Brewer appeared before the council at last night’s meeting requesting that the city’s adopted reimbursement policy on firework sales be used in order for the Lions Club to purchase ballistic vests (bullet proof vests) for each officer.
The city’s policy stipulates proceeds matched by city must be spent on infrastructure projects.
“Lots of departments are wearing the external vests.  Our officers need to be safe and the Lions Club fireworks sales raised $6,000. They want to help with our needs,” Brewer advised.
City Manager Josh Shaw told the council, “You, the Council, adopted the fireworks reimbursement policy and you can waive it for this, but still keep the policy in place...$2,500 can be applied.”
The Council approved 7-0, waiving the adopted policy concerning the fireworks reimbursement.  Councilor Sue Jones was absent from the meeting.
New activities at Santa Fe Lake
The council approved 7-0 a facilities use agreement with Flint Hills Multi-story LLC, D.B.A. Flatwater Fitness and Fun.  
The Andover company has been operating a stand up paddleboard business in the Wichita area since 2011 under a previous owner who recently moved out of the region.  Monica and Don McClure of Rose Hill have finalized the purchase of the company and submitted an inquiry to the City concerning the possibility of setting up operations at Santa Fe Lake.  The activities would include fitness classes and cross-training, along with stand up paddleboarding, a popular watersport.
The city staff and attorney have been meeting the past several weeks discussing terms of an agreement with the McClures.
“This is an interesting opportunity and I’m excited about getting this.  The lake is become shallower and may limit use of some boats eventually.  We can look for other crafts that utilize the shallower water, such as kayak and paddleboats...these new owners are looking at our lake and we want to take advantage while we can,” City Manager Shaw continued, “We’ll provide an easy termination clause for will attract traffic to the lake.”
Shaw added that the situation would be evaluated after a year and if the council felt comfortable while staff resolves one workman’s comp aspect of the safety insurance, he would ask that they approve in order for the company to utilize what is remaining of the summer months.
Santa Fe Lake caretaker Rod Davis advised council that the agreement would mean more visitors and more revenue for the lake.
Council approved 7-0.
Other items approved by Council:
* A one year agreement with the Chamber of Commerce to administer convention and tourism activities in the City.
* Approval of a Right of Way Permit Agreement with Global Parts for the installation of a fiber optic line within public right of way underneath Industrial Road in order to connect their properties located at 907 and 914 Industrial Road.
*  A low base bid from Nowak Construction in the amount of $180,146 for the Santa Fe Lake Raw Waterline Construction Project.  FEMA awarded a grant to help pay for the replacement section of line that brings the raw waterline back into operational status.  The bid was well below the engineer’s estimate of $310,880.
* Council decided to table consideration of adding the Alternate Waterline Project, a separate economic development project that consists of installing a 12” sleeve pipe parallel to the raw waterline in order to provide a utility crossing for potential future westward expansion.  City Engineer Larry Henry will further investigate one of the bidder’s different boring procedure and determine if the procedure is equivalent to what was specified.
* Adoption of Resolution 2014-08 to move forward with permanent financing for the Corps Levee Project and the issuance of General Obligation Bonds in the amount of $3,135,000.
The Council will meet for a second budget work session at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 28.

Belinda Larsen can be reached at