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Committee to look at bus contract, alcohol license fees

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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.

Follow reporter Susan McCord on Twitter: @reportr1

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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robaroo 06/11/12 - 06:21 am
Don't Increase Fees

Fee increases mean higher prices at the checkout line.

As always, additional taxes can have unintended consequences. It's not that much of a stretch to buy groceries on the SC side of the river.

nothin2show4it 06/11/12 - 06:29 am
Look Closely!

Look closely Richmond and Columbia Co. school systems. This is what you get in privatization.

How long has Richmond Co. Government been looking into these issues with no resolve to them?

You get what you pay for oooorrrrr you're being overcharged for the service you are getting.

noway 06/11/12 - 10:25 am

What a way to encourage small business! Raise the license fees!! That is horrible. That is WAY too high. Businesses have to pay that fee, plus taxes on the profits they make, but then RC is waiving taxes for huge corporations to locate here, basically losing revenue. Makes no sense.

jbenny2010 06/11/12 - 10:51 am
Just like Augusta

Wow, you cancel the contract of a company that does its job well (ADP) and considering keeping the contract of a poorly run company that didn't even have any customers until RC opened up its gullible wallet (Mobility Transit).

resident 06/11/12 - 12:17 pm
RE Noway

I agree this is typical RC greed. They only see not yet gotten $$$$$ and screw small business because they are easy targets. Big business like Costco get off cheap to locate here. They sell alot but consider how much is state tax and fed tax out of the tax base collected and RC looses money on the deal.

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