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North Augusta passes first two of three readings of public consumption ordinance

December 4, 2018

North Augusta City Council got a little closer to allowing public consumption of alcohol in Riverside Village at their meeting Monday night.

Council passed the first two of three readings of an ordinance that would allow alcohol to be publicly possessed and consumed within defined limits of Riverside Village. The area is bounded by the Brick Pond Park, Georgia Avenue, the Savannah River and Esplanade.

Council voted unanimously to remove the ordinance from the table, where it was placed in February.

North Augusta resident Perry Holcomb was one of many who spoke against the ordinance before the two votes. One concern Holcomb brought up is that the east boundary, Georgia Avenue, does not physically pass through Riverside Village. Another concern Holcomb mentioned is the size of the drinks that could be served.

“There is absolutely no reason for City Council to rush to pass such an important ordinance as now written, which could adversely affect the lives of our citizens and others visiting Riverside Village, especially those with children,” Holcomb said.

Another resident, Frankie Summers, mentioned how the ordinance would be enforced, and said there are many ways allowing alcohol to be publicly consumed could go wrong.

The two votes on the ordinance passed 6-1, with Councilwoman Pat Carpenter opposed.

Councilman Ken McDowell pointed to the public consumption at the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee as a good example of how allowing people to drink in public has been well controlled, and about how the ordinance would allow the City Administrator of Chief of Public Safety to temporarily stop the service of alcoholic beverages for public consumption.

Council also passed the third and final readings of their fiscal year 2019 budget ordinance, as well as the ordinance levying the property tax for 2019.

The two items were tabled during the last Council meeting. They were unanimously removed from the table Monday night. A motion to vote on a line item vote for item 201, which provides community promotion money to local organizations, also passed.

That line item was voted on with Mayor Bob Pettit recusing himself due to being on the CSRA Alliance board, and McDowell recused himself due to being on the board of North Augusta forward.

The line item, the rest of the budget, and the ordinance levying property taxes were each passed.

Council also unanimously passed an additional second reading of an ordinance that would rezone around 67.57 acres of land along Austin Graybill Road. Monday night’s vote was set to be the third and final vote, but the zone the land would be rezoned to was changed from R5 to R7.

The third readings of ordinances to annex land at the intersection Pisgah Road and Five Notch Road, and to set dates for the primary and general election for City Council in 2019 each passed unanimously.

Council unanimously passed a resolution that would amend the stadium license agreement with the Augusta GreenJackets and allow the city to pay the GreenJackets $149,702 for costs incurred during construction of the stadium.

Finally, Council passed two resolutions to accept deeds of dedication for water and sewer from Gregory Landing section one and North Augusta Pediatrics.

Councilman Fletcher Dickert recused himself from the vote accepting the deed of deception from North Augusta Pediatric.

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