This week's City Council meeting highlights
Augusta City Council filled the unexpired term for the Ward 2 seat previously occupied by Paul Belt at this week’s Council meeting. Bob Bailey was nominated and unanimously approved for the position. He is expected to officially be seated at the Council table at the next meeting.
Bailey biographical information includes his service on the Augusta Little League Baseball Board, various church committees, and volunteer work.
Two visitors appeared before Council Monday night. Mark Hall requested permission to host a motorcycle benefit ride and barbecue event on June 8, 2019, at the Augusta Municipal Airport. The focus of the charity event is to raise funds for families in need in the Augusta community. All the money generated by the event will be donated to a person or organization that will be chosedn by the organization.
The event has been previously held at the airport and Assistant City Manger Cody Sims advised, “It’s a good way to show off the airport.”
Council approved the request.
Another guest, Andy Hall, was present to announce the Augusta Little League Baseball 2019 tournament dates scheduled for Garvin Park.
This year’s events and dates are as follows:
April Thunder Tournament, April 13-14; Lumber Fest Wood Bat Tournament, May 4-5; 55th Annual Charlie Dunn Tournament, May 31, June 1-2 ; and the new tournament, Summer Slam, June 29-30.
Hall advised the council members that the new concession stand at Garvin Park has made the local ball fields an even more desireable venue for games and tournaments. Hall also praised the local businesses for continuing to sponsor Little League teams.
Several citizens asked council to consider allowing boats with more horsepower on the City Lake. Travis Pressnell advised the Council that they weren’t asking to increase the 5 mph speed limit on the lake, but would like to utilize boats with larger engines.
A fee for allowing the boats with more power was mentioned, but Mayor Mike Rawlings advised the issue would be turned over to the Park Board.
• Also approved was a memorandum of agreement between the Andover Police and Augusta Department of Safety for Statewide 911 Redundancy.
Similar agreements with Butler County and Cowley County were previously approved by the Council.
• An interlocal agreement between the City of Augusta and USD 402 for School Resource Officer Service was also approved.
During the summer of 2018, the Safety Department experienced a staffing shortage and the previous SRO was promoted and the City notified the school district that a replacement would not be available until 2019. The school district was not charged any expenses for the time an SRO was not available.
Safety Officer Matt Meckel applied for the position and he will begin his presence in the school facilities by the middle of this month.
• A CID sales tax voucher submitted by Augusta Hotel, LLC was approved in addition to collecting the City’s administrative fee of $450 annually and reimburse project costs after the full collection of the administrative fee.
In 2015, the Council approved a Master Developer Agreement and Hotel Community Improvement District (CID) Development Agreement. The agreements established a CID District for the construction of a new hotel and the City agreed to rebate guest tax generated by the project and to administer the CID Sales Tax for 22 years from its commencement or upon sufficient CID Sales Tax revenues to pay all project costs, which ever happens first.
Last month there was discussion regarding the regulation of hot air balloon operations with city parks and other city property with the city limits of Augusta. A launch site near the lake peninsula was discussed and staff finalized details pertaining to permits, proposed fees, and launch sites.
Jon and Dana Pierce, a local couple who own one of the balloons that launched from Shryock Park last year, were present to share perspectives about ballooning and the proposed regulations.
Councilor Jamie Crum stated, “I am voting no on this...I see this as micro managing a non-issue.”
“I enjoy watching the hot air balloons, but I am concerned about safety...Not all balloonists follow the rules,” advised Councilman Tom Leffler.
A roll call vote was taken and the measure failed 4-2.
City’s new website
City Manager Josh Shaw introduced the City’s new website and shared some of the features with the Council. The new website is more user friendly and easier to view and obtain documents. The different departments and contact information is easier to locate, as well.
The next City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Ma