Each year the Augusta Chamber of Commerce celebrates its membership by awarding businesses and individuals who have made a difference in the community. Saturday night’s annual dinner held at The Point spotlighted the following 2016 Excellence in Business Awards.

The Health & Wellness Award went to Drs. Todd & Giannetti.

Retail Business Award to Hilgers Family Pharmacy.

Dining Establishment Award to Sugar Shane’s Cafe.

Service Business Award to Williamson Plumbing.

Finance & Insurance Award to Community National Bank.

Manufacturing Technology & Innovation to Gear Up.

The Community Leader Award for 2016 was presented to Augusta City Manager Josh Shaw.

Augusta Mayor Matt Childers presented the Community Leader Award before sharing the State of the City address.

“Josh Shaw really does despise being in the spotlight, so I’m enjoying this moment. Josh flat out deserves this award,” Childers reminded the audience that Shaw recently declined a raise and asked that it go toward the benefit of city employees.

“That’s who Josh is. He and our other employees are part of our success.”

Shaw humbly accepted the award, saying, “I sincerely appreciate the recognition, but our team, City Council, and community deserve to feel pride...We have a tremendous community and all of us should be proud to be a part of it.”

Next, Childers took the opportunity to brag on Augusta’s recent significant projects.

“Other counties and communities are taking notice of our greatness. We have a long list of accomplishments,” he continued. “We enjoyed a peek of the new Splash Pad at Shryock Park. With the support of a $40,000 Sunflower Foundation grant, we’ve added a pedestrian trail and a signalized crosswalk on Ohio Street.”

The mayor spoke of the newly completed parking lot at Shryock, and the new rest room facility with the Stand-up People Dryer, the only such device in the entire state of Kansas. There are also plans to fully restore PlayPark this year.

“For the anglers in our community, we reopened the City Lake for catch-and-release fishing. We’ve also added several fishing docks around the lake, one of which is ADA accessible,” he added. “And for the dog lovers, we’ve received FEMA’s approval for the Meadow View Acres Development Plan that includes a dog park.”

Childers further explained that a “back nine” had been added to the nine-hole disc golf course in Garvin Park.

“We’ve also installed glow-in-the-dark concrete tee pads to match our one-of-a-kind glow disc golf baskets. We believe that our facility is the only one of its kind in the world. Our course draws disc golfers from across the state.”

Other positive accomplishments for the city outlined by Childers included welcoming a new baseball team to Augusta in 2016.

“The Kansas Cannons moved their club to our community and were overwhelmed with the amazing support they have received. They are looking forward to another successful season and are considering changing their name to the Augusta Cannons.”

Childers also spoke of the continued development along the 7th Street Corridor; the new Comfort Inn & Suites, the new Scooter’s Coffee house, the fully renovated Community National Bank, and the popular Twisted Oz Motorcycle Museum.

“We have several projects slated for 2017. The South Ohio reconstruction project is scheduled for bid letting in February. As part of the project, we will install new storm sewers, new waterlines, and bury our the electric lines. We will also connect brand new sidewalks in what is the largest sidewalks project ever undertaken by the city. And with the support of the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, we will rehabilitate our sanitary sewer infrastructure in Basin A (7th Street, Lulu, Kelly, and Loomis Land).”

Following the award presentations and the Mayor’s State of the City address, those attending the event enjoyed casino games and prizes.