Line-X Augusta is new downtown business

A new business has arrived in downtown Augusta.  Troy Palmer, president and CEO of Global Aerospace, recently purchased the former Magic Focus building, 610 State Street and an adjacent lot north of the site.  Line-X of Augusta, a franchise of Line-X a national and international company,  will be utilizing the space.  The company specializes in truck bed liners, as well as protective coating for a variety of vehicle applications.
Line-X of Augusta recently requested permission from the city to install a sign on the small building at the northeast corner of the property.  The new sign would be visible to motorists on Seventh Street/Highway 54 and to motorists on State Street entering downtown.  The new sign would also cover a sign that was posted without permission and is now weathered.
The city’s Design Committee determined that the Line-X sign request should be supported, but due to size restrictions listed in the signage  ordinance, the committee asked that City Council allow a special use permit and approve their recommendation of allowing the Line-X sign.
Malissa Nesmith, Global vice president and COO, addressed the Council.
“This is our first business directly available to the community and the southeast part of Kansas...It is very exciting for us,” Nesmith said. “A part of the franchise agreement includes being located near a main highway and one of the first things you see before entering downtown, is that wall...We thought putting up the sign was a good opportunity for us to utilize that space.  It’s a good location.  The only option is to place it outside of town.”
Nesmith explained that a new Line-X sign was posted and later removed when they learned of the city’s objections.   
Assistant City Manager Cody Sims advised that the Design Committee was forced to follow the language of the ordinance, but wanted the sign to be allowed.
“What’s been challenging is trying to work through this and figure out a solution.  The ordinance language is very specific, not flexible, so the Design Committee wants to allow the sign, but had to vote no.  We appreciate communicating with Global while we come up with a solution,” Sims then asked Council, “Would you consider the special use permit?”
“The new sign looked nice and it’s for a new business in town - and it covers up that old sign,” Councilor Jamie Crum said.
“The ability to allow the sign lies with this governing body,” advised Mayor Matt Childers.
Council approved a temporary use permit  for six months, 6-2, with Councilors Ron Reavis and Cale Magruder voting against the measure.
National Guard recognition
The Augusta Department of Safety was recognized by the Kansas Army National Guard 226th Engineer Company at Monday night’s meeting.
Justin Smith, representing the Kansas Army National Guard 226th Engineer Company presented a plaque to Major Ray Marbut with the Augusta Department of Safety.  Smith stated that the local guard company appreciates the working relationship with the Augusta police and fire departments.
“We appreciate the fact that we can leave our vehicles are safe while parked at the armory for a weekend or even longer.  The police do a great job of watching out for us.  They have our backs,” Smith said.
Smith also advised that the community should be proud to still have an armory, as many Kansas communities have had their armories closed.
Elmwood Cemetery Tours
Another visitor, Priscilla Templin, representing the Augusta Historical Museum, requested approval of the annual Elmwood Cemetery Tour on Oct. 28th.  
Templin reported that there will be two tours, one at 5 p.m. and another at 7 p.m.  The tours will begin at the mausoleum and will proceed around the old cemetery semi-circle.  Charles Greenwell of Flying Bar G Ranch will precede the group with his horse and carriage.  A few attendees will ride in the carriage.
Council approved the request, 8-0.
Other business
The progress on the condemnation process at a detached garage structure located at 1117 N. School Street has been slowed by a truck parked in the driveway, prohibiting the contractor from getting demolition equipment onto the property.  The condemnation action was tabled at the last council meeting to allow staff to coordinate with the city attorney regarding access to the garage structure.  The previous quote approved for the demolition was submitted by ABC Demolition Services for $2,000.
City Attorney Austin Parker told Council that According to Bush v. The City of Augusta, the courts determined the city is granted immunity from liability if the condemnation is accomplished via the provisions established in K.S.A. 12-1750 et seq.
“We have the only test case in Kansas,” stated Parker.
Councilor Leffler voiced his disapproval in the time taken to determine the legal liabilities for the city.
“We waited so long that we’ve lost the bid and now it’s going to be twice as much,” Leffler said.
“I wanted to double-check on the vehicle issue.  I apologize for the delay,” responded City Attorney Parker.
Council approved, 8-0, demolition of the structure from Alan’s Excavating for $4,800.  The property owner will receive via certified mail the day of demolition and will be asked to remove all obstructions that will allow the demolition contractor to get equipment onto the site.  If the truck remains in the driveway and access is obstructed, a tow truck will be called to move the vehicle from the driveway to the street.
Engineering services agreement
Also approved, 8-0, an engineering services agreement with AquaTech Engineering in the not-to-exceed $83,000 for design engineering, bidding, construction engineer, and construction observation services related to the Wastewater Treatment Plant SCADA system.
City Manager Shaw explained that the SCADA System at the wastewater treatment plant was installed as part of the plant’s original construction in the early 2000s.  It doesn’t offer any centralized control aspect and only limited centralized monitoring.
“Adding this equipment will help expand the functions...Upgrading the SCADA system is the last step for the major upgrade,” Shaw stated.
He also added that Willis Wilson’s experience with and knowledge of the city’s plant will provide tremendous assistance in determining necessary equipment upgrades, integrating the various systems and components, and reviewing proposals from equipment vendors and SCADA programmers.
$950,000 in funding is provided in the 2018 Budget in the Wastewater Reserve Fund 47-4940-4420 for this project.  There is also funding allocated in the same line item for the 2017 Budget that staff is recommending be utilized to pay for the engineering services to initiate the project.  This will allow the preliminary design engineering to be completed or near completion by the end of 2017 and for bidding and construction to be initiated earlier in 2018.
In Thursday’s TG editon, read about the T-hangar development at the Augusta Municipal Airport and more from Monday’s council meeting.