North Augusta City Council tables budget ordinance, declares result of CPST bond referendum

November 20, 2018

North Augusta City Council was set to vote on the third and final reading of their 2019 budget and property tax ordinances Monday evening, but tabled each of them until a later meeting.

The two items were top on the agenda and were tabled unanimously by Council. All members of City Council were present.

The reason for the tabling, according to Mayor Bob Pettit during the study session before the meeting, was regarding Councilmembers relationships to certain organizations that benefit under the community promotions spending in the budget.

“We’ve become embroiled in another potential controversy over the community promotions thing where we provide money to the CSRA Alliance and other places,” Pettit said.

He said Councilmembers with any association with the organizations who benefit from money set aside for community promotions, such as the RECing Crew or CSRA Alliance would have to recuse themselves from voting on the budget, or those line items would have to be voted on separately. The mayor said going with that plan Monday night could cause a problem with the Freedom of Information Act and placing things on the agenda.

“We think the most prudent way to avoid either or both problems is to table them tonight and then address them at the next meeting,” Pettit said.

Council also passed the first and second readings of an ordinance that would rezone around 67.57 acres of land on Austin Graybill Road between orchard Way and Fox Trail Drive from R-10, medium lot residential, to R-5, mixed lot residential. Mac Breazeale, on behalf of the applicant, said the development planned for that location would include three lot sizes for three prices. He said all would be single family detached residential homes with no condominiums or apartments. The first and second readings of the ordinance passed five to two, with Fletcher Dickert and Ken McDowell opposed. The ordinance did not approve the proposed development, only the rezoning.

Two North Augusta residents spoke about the rezoning during the citizen comments portion of the ordinance, saying they were worried about how the development would impact property valued and traffic.

Council also unanimously passed the first two readings of an ordinance that would annex a piece of property at Pisgah Road and Five Notch Road into the city. The land is currently occupied by a Greg’s Gas Plus.

Council members also unanimously passed the third and final reading of an ordinance granting an easement to Wide Open West Inc. to place facilities in Riverside Village. Wide Open West is an internet, cable and phone business.

Council unanimously passed the first two of three readings of an ordinance that would set election dates for the election of three City Council positions. The ordinance would set the election as Tuesday, April 30, 2019 and the primary on February 12, 2019. The three council members whose current term expires are Jimmy Adams, Bob Brooks and Ken McDowell.

Council also passed a resolution, which declares the passage of the Nov. 6 bond referendum in the city. The bond referendum asked North Augusta voters if the city could issue general obligation bonds worth $10.25 million to pay for a new Public Safety headquarters, which they would then pay back with proceeds from Capital Projects Sales Tax IV. The CPST vote passed countywide and the bond referendum passed in the city. The resolution passed Monday does not officially issue the bonds, and states issuance would come in a separate resolution.

During the meeting, Pettit also issued a proclamation, proclaiming Dec. 7, 2018 as Arbor Day in the City of North Augusta. During the study session before the meeting, Council also discussed the public consumption ordinance that was tabled in February of this year, which would allow public consumption of alcohol in a defined area of Riverside Village.

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