The annual Augusta Public Building Commission met prior to the Augusta City Council meeting Monday night.  The commission approved last year’s minutes, along with the Cottonwood point financial report.
Bob Herschfeld, a board member at Cottonwood Point, reported to the council that 2017 was a good year and things were running smoothly.
An election of officers for the commission was held and Tom Leffler was elected president; Justin Londagin, vice-president; and Mike Rawlings, secretary.
Ceremonial swearing in
New City Council members David Bates and Eric Birk were officially sworn in on Jan. 8, 2018, pursuant to state statue, but Monday evening City Clerk Erica Jones administered the oath of office at the start of Monday’s meeting.
Business items
The first business item on the agenda was discussion on the City Lake Road Construction Project.  
City Manager Josh Shaw reminded the group that the project list for the Pride & Progress initiative was initially developed in 2016, and paving of the east portion of the City Lake Road was included as a planned construction project.  The original cost estimates for paving the road were based on the assumption that the existing roadbed could be used as the base material for the new asphalt street.  
The existing base is non-uniform and storm water drainage concerns led the engineer to recommend that new base material be installed.  Addition of the base material caused the price of the proposed project to exceed the established budget.  
In order to give the council options, city staff asked the engineer to estimate the cost of a “chip seal” roadway instead of asphalt, which is a common road application in rural county roads with low traffic volumes.  
“Councilman Mike Rawlings isn’t here tonight and I know there are a lot of others who would like to discuss this,” Councilor Tom Leffler said, “I think we should have more people present to discuss this and it would be best to table this until the next meeting.”
 Council member Jamie Crum suggested that there were residents in the audience that attended simply to discuss the issue and perhaps hearing them and then tabling the matter would be acceptable.
The floor was opened to public comments and John Goines, Augusta resident, addressed the council.
“It’s only 20 mph around the lake.  There’s a bunch of cry babies crying about the dust.  I drive that road all the time and it’s not bad at all...I think that it’s a waste of time and money.  Who is going to maintain it when it snows and ices?” Goines continued, “I suggest you take a counter and count the cars that go around the lake.  There’s a lot of other stuff around town that needs fixed...Everyone around the lake bellyaching about the dust, shouldn’t have bought those houses.  We can spend that money on other things.”
Another resident, Jeremy Lawson, told the Council that he would like more information on the issue and wondered why he was just hearing about the proposal to pave the City Lake Road.
Mayor Childers advised that the project had been in the works for some time and City Manager Shaw explained that the project was part of the sales tax ballot vote and part of the proposed capital project that was approved.
“Council has discussed the project and when we saw we weren’t able to do the asphalt, it prompted this conversation about chip seal,” Shaw stated.
“I appreciate the sentiments, but we’re here tonight, so let’s go ahead,” Councilor Cale Magruder said.
Council voted 4-3 to table the issue for further discussion at the Feb. 5 meeting.
If Council does approve, the established project budget of $450,000 will pay for the engineering and construction of an asphalt street between Augusta Ave. and Shryock Park, or a chip seal street between Augusta Ave. and the north bridge.  $450,000 was budgeted in Pride & Progress Fund 56 for the project.  If Council decides to not proceed with the project, the remaining construction funds will be allocated to other Pride & Progress projects.
Another business item that required no action was the review of the North Ohio Street Study Draft Scope of Services.
One of the projects ranked as high priority by the Street Sales Tax Advisory Committee is the study of North Ohio Street.  Ohio Street north of David Street is in poor condition in a number of locations,  
Last year the Council discussed the matter and asked staff if any resources were provided to tackle North Ohio Street in the 2018 Budget.  Resources were provided in Street Sales Tax Fund 12 for a maintenance project, but that additional resources would be required if anything beyond resurfacing mill and overlay was desired.  The council was presented a scope of services for a concept study, similar to the study prepared for the South Ohio Street Project, outlining options for enhancing the north Ohio Street corridor.
Councilor Magruder asked that traffic counts be taken on North Ohio Street.  
The general consensus of the Council was to move ahead with the study.
The final scope of services will be approved by the City Council in the form of an engineering services agreement at a future meeting.
Other action
• Council approved awarding the audit of the City’s financial statements since 2013 to George, Bowerman & Noel, P.A.  City Clerk Erica Jones advised that the approved audit cost of $18,275 had been budgeted in the City Clerk’s Budget, Water Administration Budget, Electric Administration Budget, and Wastewater Budget for 2018 and will be split accordingly.
• Council approved Resolution No. 2018-02 authorizing the sale of the City’s State Historical  tax credits generated by the Frisco Depot Project.
• Councilman Mike Rawlings was elected as President of the Council.
• Council members Eric Birk and David Bates were appointed to the Park Advisory Board.
The next regular Augusta City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5, at City Hall.