North Augusta gives final OK to Comprehensive Plan

North Augusta City Council gave final approval Monday night to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, a document required by the state that the city is nearly two years late in delivering.

 

Comprehensive plans are supposed to be updated every 10 years. The city’s last update was due in late 2015. The state requires them from local governments in exchange for letting them make their own planning and zoning rules.

Without a plan on file with the state, someone who got turned down on a zoning matter, for example, could use that against the city to try to make it reverse its decision, City Attorney Kelly Zier has said.

In February, council gave first-reading approval to a draft plan, prepared by contractor Stantec Inc., to head off potential rezoning challenges by invoking the “pending ordinance doctrine.”

City Council and the city Planning Commission held a joint meeting on the plan and a public hearing was held before it got second-reading approval.

The draft plan included a list of recommendations, but council members edited some of them and made them “action items,” or goals to be accomplished.

Those include connecting the Greeneway to downtown, managing infrastructure upkeep, improving code enforcement and creating a parks master plan, among others.

Monday night’s final approval was unanimous, with all council members and the mayor present.

Also Monday, council approved participation in a solar power initiative with SCE&G that is expected to reduce the city’s power bills by about $60,000 a year for the next 20 years.

The utility is constructing solar arrays in other parts of the state and inviting its customers – residents as well as governments – to subscribe to a share of the power produced. Participants pay a fee and get rebates. The utility gets federal tax credits for building the arrays.

In other action, city council:

Accepted the low bid of ; $724,615.82 from Beam’s Contracting to build a Greeneway tunnel under Bergen Road. Two bids were received. The work will begin after the state Department of Transportation gives its authorization, which is expected next week. Once it starts, the work is contracted to be done in 90 days. Bergen Road likely will have to be closed for about 30 days, something City Administrator Todd Glover said officials wanted to happen during the summer when school was out. The measure passed 6-0. Councilman David McGhee abstained because of family connections.

Approved a POW-MIA Remembrance Walk sponsored by American Legion Post 71 and scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 15. A solemn march will begin at Post 71 and end with a ceremony at Wade Hampton Park.

Approved a $52,300 bid with Duraclean Systems of North Augusta for asbestos and mold remediation in the Public Safety headquarters building. Chief John Thomas said an area of the building is closed off because of the contamination and the department needs it for training rooms and office space. Glover said the city has “tried not to put money into that building, but this is safety issue.” The city plans to construct a new headquarters as soon as possible.

Approved a bid of $32,320.32 from Fleetcare of Augusta to replace the worn-out engine in a 1993 E-One Fire Pump Unit truck with a rebuilt one. Buying a new truck would cost about $500,000, Chief Thomas said.

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Tue, 12/12/2017 - 19:42

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