Part 2 of Monday's meeting
Augusta City Council members approved several appointments at Monday’s council meeting. The reappointment of Megan Vittitow to the Augusta Public Library Board was approved; Jody Link replaced Mary Williams on the Augusta Housing Board, with Heather Holmes fill Rex Cagle’s term ending in April 2020, and Housing Board reappointments of Chuck Bowman and JD McCrary with terms ending in April 2022.
Engineering service agreements
In August of last year, Council members approved engineering service agreements with City Engineer Schwab Eaton for multiple city projects, including the City Lake Road and 2017 Street Sales Tax. Additional services and work were involved when the city asked Schwab to investigate chip seal options on the City Lake Road, due to the high estimates of paving. After discussing the chip seal options, the Council directed the project scope be amended to include asphalt and concrete paving for two smaller portions of the Lake Road. The required additional design work by the city engineer was outside the scope of the original agreement.
Council approved the supplemental agreement/change order with Schwab Eaton in the amount of $13,036.50 for additional design services related to the City Lake Road paving project. Also approved was the supplemental agreement with Schwab Eaton in the amount not to exceed $9,.100 for Construction Observation and Management related to the City Lake Road Project, and a supplemental agreement not to exceed $18,100 for Construction Observation and Management related to the 2017 Street Sales Tax projects.
A revised master engineering services agreement that provides clarity on work that is considered billable and work that is not, and giving the Council more regular oversight over engineering costs, was unanimously approved, as well.
Downtown playground discussion
Land donated by Troy Palmer will be used to construct the Dalton Palmer Memorial Playground, just south of the historic Santa . Along with other donations, and the approved $250,000 as part of the City’s Pride & Progress initiative, the “vertical” playground should be open in time for the City’s 150th celebration in September.
Five different playground options, all with estimated cost breakdowns, were presented to Council for consideration.
City Manager Josh Show advised that the cheapest option for playground surfacing would be wood fiber like the surface at PlayPark, between $33,000 and $82,000. The most expensive option, i.e. rubberized surfacing like at the Garvin Park playground, requires an additional $250,000 in funding.
Shaw also advised that Pride & Progress bond proceeds cannot be used for the playground, but cash on hand can be used to pay for the project. The overall budget for the Pride & Progress initiative includes approximately $750,000 in cash from various project funds.
“That leaves $340,000 left for this financial model,” Shaw said.
“Who should choose the colors?” asked Mayor Mike Rawlings.
“I think the Palmers should pick the colors,” said Councilor Jaime Crum.
“I agree that they should have some say,” Councilman Cale Magruder said.
Council unanimously approved the color choice be made by the Palmers.
Council also approved Option 1, the design that includes an X-Gen Structure, a gravity rail, wood fiber surfacing, fencing and gates, and installation for the cost of $328,614. The option, cheapest of the five options, was selected with the preference of some funds being used on benches and shade elements.
City Manager Shaw advised that the soft surface could be added later and that perhaps there would be grant opportunities next year.
Council members participated in a lengthy discussion concerning Certificate of Liability Insurance requirements. The discussion came as a result of last month’s conversation of liability requirements for Flatwater Fun and Fitness and what the City should require for all non-city events occurring on public property. The city’s insurance provider advised that all certificates of liability insurance need to contain a provision that the City of Augusta is listed as “Additional Insured on a primary/non-contributory basis for all losses.”
Assistant City Manager Cody Sims explained that staff had asked the insurance broker to provide the explicit recommendations for coverage and verbiage for different types of events and that a new policy for insurance requirements needs to be drafted in order to provide clarity to the various agreements and to streamline the event review process.
Council approved moving forward with drafting new policies, but to continue with the current policy until new requirements and policies can be presented for approval.
The regular meeting adjourned and council members went into an executive session to discuss matters deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship.