Vote OKs sidewalk on edge of park

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WHAT WAS DISCUSSED:

The North Augusta City Council's decision to build a sidewalk on the western edge of Wade Hampton Veterans Park vexed one councilwoman and the park's chairman Monday.

"We just don't want our park desecrated," park Chairman Tony Carr said during Monday's council meeting.

Developer Richard Fletcher wants to build the sidewalk, using his own money, to enhance his Hampton Park Townhomes development. The sidewalk will run from Clifton Avenue to Main Street Alley.

Many council members said the sidewalk would draw more attention to the park.

"I'm near that park every day of my life and I've never seen anyone in there," Councilwoman Pat Carpenter said. "I feel like it's going to make it so much better."

Councilwoman Carolyn Baggott, who voted against the idea, said allowing public land to be used by a private developer sets a bad precedent.

Mayor Lark Jones said the precedent has already been set.

"There are sidewalks all over town on public property," he said.

Mr. Carr contended that allowing for the private development of a park violates federal law.

City attorney Kelly Zier said the park is city-owned land and that he knows of no federal statute preventing the city from allowing construction of a sidewalk there.

ACTION TAKEN:

The council voted 6-1 to allow construction of the sidewalk by Mr. Fletcher.

OTHER BUSINESS:

- North Augusta's city limits grew by about 10 acres after the council approved annexing property on Atomic Road. The council also agreed to annex about three acres on River North Drive near U.S. Highway 1. Another reading of the resolution to annex the River North Drive property will need to take place before it becomes official.

- Mr. Jones read a list of candidates for the city council in the April 24 general election. On the Republican ballot will be incumbents Ms. Baggott, Jimmy Adams and Kenneth McDowell. One Democrat, Darrell Blocker, is also running.

- The council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aiken county and city governments to set aside future 1-cent sales tax dollars for road construction and maintenance. Twenty percent of the revenues from the next sales tax, which begins in 2011, from each government would be used for roads.

- Compiled by Donnie Fetter


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