The first business item for Augusta’s City Council at Monday night’s meeting was an update concerning the condemnation process for a structure and garage at 1154 N. School Street.
Assistant City Manager Cody Sims reminded the council that they had approved moving forward with demolition at the May 1, 2017 council meeting.
“The owner had 30 days to pull permits to fix or demolish and on June 1st, the owner did indeed pull the permits to proceed with the demolition of both structures,” Sims continued, “Staff is recommending that the owner be given this month to fulfill the demolition permit or it will be brought back on the July 3rd meeting for final action.”
Sims also advised that Travis Combes with the City Inspection Department had explained to the owner that he is required to remove footings and grade the property properly for drainage pursuant to state law.
Council approved tabling any further condemnation action until July 3, 2017.
Design update on new Garvin Park facility
During a joint work session last month between the City Council and the Parks Advisory Board, three design concepts for the restroom/concession facility proposed for Garvin Park baseball fields were reviewed.  Following discussion on each proposal, consensus was reached to support one of the designs with a few adjustments.
The chosen design proposes that the concession area and restrooms be on one end of the facility, the umpire room and storage area on the other end of the building, with an outdoor seating area in the middle.  Consensus was to add large overhead-style doors on each end of the seating area.  
 The overhead doors will allow the facility to be fully secured when not in use.
Sims advised that staff would need to know of any changes the council might want because bidding and construction would need to begin after the Augusta Little League Baseball season is complete in mid-July.  The goal is to have the project completed by the beginning of March 2018.
“I like the doors, but I’m wondering how to regulate the doors to open and close?  Who will be in charge?  Do we need doors?” asked Councilman Tom Leffler.
“I’m less excited about the doors after seeing this design.  It’s the garage doors - maybe we should have something different,” suggested Mayor Matt Childers.
Councilor Magruder responded, “It would make it possible to use the facility for other things.  I don’t see a problem with the doors. We’ve got engineers to help us with that.”
Councilman Jason Lowery voiced concerns, “With the open sides, there will be access to the storage area. I am a little uncomfortable having a building that’s open with expensive stuff in there - the concession and storage.”
Leffler asked about having glass doors instead of garage doors and Councilor Mike Rawlings suggested that the doors not be entirely of glass, but to have solid material at the bottoms to prevent rocks or other materials breaking the doors.
No action was taken, but City Manager Josh Shaw advised he would come back with information on the door options.
Matters from the council
* Council approved scheduling the third 2018 budget work session at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 20, 2017, at City Hall.
* Council approved moving the July 3 Council meeting to 6 p.m. in hopes to be finished early for the city’s firework display that evening at the Augusta City Lake.
Mayor Matt Childers asked council and staff to consider that fishing be free at the Augusta City Lake next year during the same free fishing weekend sponsored by the State.
Mayor Childers also asked other councilors their thoughts on extending the hours of discharge for fireworks to midnight instead of 10 p.m. on Monday, July 3rd.   The proposal will be brought back at the next council meeting.