The Patch golf course, TEE Center change order on Augusta Commission's agenda

Nearing the end of a second month operating the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, the private firm The Patch in Augusta LLC is seeking to use $300,000 in city sales tax funds to make improvements at the course.

According to an item from city Recreation, Parks and Facilities Director Tom Beck going before the Augusta Commission’s Public Service Committee on Monday, the city and firm seek to amend their lease to allow a $300,000 allocation of special purpose local-option sales-tax funds approved by voters in 2009 for the golf course to fund improvements being made by the firm, led by Aberdeen, Scotland, businessman Brian Hendry.

The lease amendment says the funds must be used for golf course or clubhouse improvements or grounds equipment, and that all improvements must be approved by the city.

Last year, the commission agreed to lease the course to The Patch in Augusta LLC for $1,000 a month. Hendry took over Jan. 1, bringing in his own staff and hiring some of the former city employees who lost their jobs when course management was outsourced.

IN OTHER BUSINESS MONDAY

• The Public Service Committee will revisit an $836,288 change order at the new Trade, Exhibit and Event Center under construction that the full commission failed to pass Feb. 21.

The changes, to meet Marriott International’s smoke evacuation standards and other details not included in the convention center’s original design, bring the project’s total price to $30.1 million, but the funds are available in the project’s contingency fund, City Administrator Fred Russell has said.

Russell said Marriott was not going to bend on the standards and that the change order’s lack of approval could slow the TEE Center’s opening or even damage the city’s relationship with Marriott.

• The Public Service Committee will consider revoking the alcohol license held by Shalanda Crawford for Cloud Nine Bar and Grill, 3156 Wrightboro Road, for “failure to comply” with the city’s alcohol and dance hall ordinances.

• A lease by Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club of city facilities at Sue Reynolds Park is up for approval.

• Commissioner Bill Lockett has placed the city’s Title VI program on the Finance and Administrative Services committee agendas. The program ensures federal civil rights compliance in city departments, such as the airports, sheriff’s office and transit, that operate using federal funds.

• A contract with Automatic Data Processing to take over Augusta’s Human Resources Department that was referred from a Feb. 13 committee meeting reappears on Monday’s Administrative Services agenda.

• In the open portion of a closed-door legal meeting of the entire commission scheduled atnoon, commissioners Lockett and J.R. Hatney have requested a resolution in support of keeping commission elections in November. The resolution runs counter to Augusta Rep. Barbara Sims’ bill, which passed the House on Friday and shifted the election date for consolidated governments to July.

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