Committee to look at bus contract, alcohol license fees

Augusta commissioners will weigh whether to continue a contract with Mobility Transit Services LLC and raise retail alcohol fees at today’s commission committee meetings.


Commissioner Bill Lockett, who opposed privatizing management of the bus service, said Mobility remains in violation of its contract with the city in several areas and has no certified mechanic on staff, even though the city recently purchased three new buses for more than $1 million.

Lockett said he'll request that Elizabeth McLeod, the Florida transit firm's Augusta attorney, give her presentation to the city's Public Services committee before the committee discusses the status of Mobility's contract.

He added that “90 percent” of Mobility employees, many of them former city workers who were hired by the firm, would leave Mobility “if they had an opportunity.”

Also going before Public Services are proposed fee increases for retailers taking advantage of Sunday sales approved by voters in March.

The fees, which the commission last raised in December, would go as high as $4,280 for a seven-day beer, wine and liquor sales license for the largest retailer and generate more than $100,000 in annual revenue, according to the agenda item from Licensing Director Rob Sherman.

Commissioner Corey Johnson, who chairs public services, said the discussion should extend to permitting Sunday sales in bars.

Other items included on agendas for the committee meetings, which start at noon, include:

• Approval of a one-year agreement with The Augusta Beautification Program to provide landscape maintenance on Walton Way between 13th and 15th streets.

• Authorization to refund $98.9 million in the city's 2002 series water and sewerage revenue bonds and reissue the bonds and up to $40 million more to take advantage of low interest rates, with Murray Barnes Finister LLP and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP as bond and disclosure counsel

• Request several Community Housing Development Corporations, or CHDOs, show accounting of funds spent in 2005 and 2006

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