AHS bon fire returning

The Augusta City Council gave its approval Monday night to two big events coming up in the next couple of months.
The governing body voted unanimously to allow the Augusta High School Booster Club to bring back a community event. Angie Johnston, Booster Club president, said the group wanted to bring back the community bonfire on the peninsula at the Augusta City Lake.
The bonfire will be held from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 11  on the night before the first home football game.
Johnston told the council the booster club raised $25,000 last year for various projects, but this event wasn’t meant to raise money.
“We do a lot of things to raise funds to help fill gaps and make up for funding cuts,” Johnston said. “But this is just something for the kids.”
She said the event would involve many groups from the high school and would even be part of Coach Jason Filbeck’s plan to include leadership training for his senior football players and give some of them a platform for public speaking.
City Attorney Austin Parker put together an ordinance he believes would amend the city’s current code that prevents fires like this and would allow the council to consider and issue special permits for bonfires.
The council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance change and allow city staff to issue the special permit for the event.
The council also passed a resolution that paved the way for a new event called Steaks on the Bricks to be held from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 18.
The event will be promoted by Downtown Augusta Inc. and the Augusta Chamber of Commerce. The governing body had to approve closing the 500 block of State Street as well as a special exception to the city’s ban on purchasing and consuming alcohol in public.
Kelly Modlin appeared before the council in support of the event and assured the group only adults will be allowed at the event and rides will be offered to those who attend and need assistance to get home.
The council voted 6-1 in favor of allowing the event. Councilor Mike Rawlings voted no, as he customarily does on items involving alcohol sales and consumption.
He explained he, and many of his constituents, don’t support the consumption of alcohol in public.
The council also changed the date of both meetings in September. The first meeting would normally be held on Sept. 1 but due to Labor Day, the meeting will be moved to Tuesday, Sept. 2. The second meeting of the month would normally be held on Sept. 15. But due to a conference for the city manager, that meeting was moved to 7 p.m. Sept. 22.