Augusta Commission committees voted Monday to amend the city's curfew ordinance to include closing hours for teen nightclubs and sent a request to abandon an alley to make way for a new downtown hotel to the full commission with no recommendation. -- Sylvia Cooper, staff writer
TEEN CLUB CURFEW
Members of the Public Services Committee voted to amend the city's existing teen curfew ordinance to include closing teen nightclubs at 11:30 p.m. on weekends and 10:30 p.m. on weeknights to allow teens to be at home by the current midnight weekend curfew and 11 p.m. weekday curfew.
Commissioner J.R. Hatney said if the current curfew was being enforced, commissioners wouldn't have take action on teen clubs.
Commissioner Corey Johnson said he would like to see the ordinance amended to prohibit teens younger than 18 from attending the clubs.
Augusta has four teen nightclubs, but only one has been brought to the attention of commissioners as a trouble spot, and that is Club Platinum on North Leg Road, where a teen was shot in February and another shot and killed last year. Commissioners placed that club on 90 days probation and it must close at 11:30 p.m.
LOCK AND DAM UPDATE
Recreation and Parks Director Tom Beck told commissioners bids for repairing the locks at New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam park will be opened April 7. The locks became inoperable March 13. That keeps boats from traveling up or downstream through the dam.
Also placed on hold are all fish migration programs administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and South Carolina DNA that were scheduled to start in April. Commissioners are expected to act on bid results at their April 15 meeting.
ASKING FOR AN ALLEY
Members of the Engineering Services Committee sent a request to abandon an alley at the site of a planned downtown hotel so that the design work can begin to the full commission with no recommendation.
Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Margaret Woodard asked the committee to abandon a 51/2-foot alley at Reynolds and Ninth streets so design work on a $30 million hotel, condominium and retail space project can move forward. Mr. Hatney voted against the abandonment because Ms. Woodard said she did not know what price range the condos would sell for because they had not been designed. Mr. Hatney said if the developers knew the hotel would have 140 rooms and there would be 60 condos, he knew what the price range would be.
The hotel owner is Courtland R. Desseau, of Maylene, Ala., according to Planning Commission Director George Patty.
DOG PARK DELAY
Commissioner Jerry Brigham said the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens is not the place for dogs to romp off their leashes and wants the full commission to discuss the matter further at its April 1 meeting. Mayor Deke Copenhaver has set April 6, the Sunday before the Masters Golf Tournament, as the date for opening the dog park on Sundays from noon until 4:30 p.m. Mr. Brigham and Mr. Hatney, however, said although commissioners had approved dog parks and park rules they had not approved a location.