Jan. 08–North Augusta officially made its position on the future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam known on Monday.
City Council voted during their regular meeting to support Option 1-1 for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and replacing of renovating the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.
Option 1-1 would retain the dam with fish passage on the Georgia side. The option the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is officially recommending is option 2-6d, which would create a fixed weir with a dry floodplain bench. The resolution supporting option 1-1 was passed unanimously by Council.
The resolution states that the Corps’ chosen option, 2-6d, would lower the pool created by the lock and dam about 2.5 to 3 feet.
“The City and its citizens have grown reliant and accustomed to the river pool created by the Lock and Dam since it went into service in 1937,” the resolution states.
City Administrator Todd Glover said a two-foot drop in the pool level could be “detrimental” to North Augusta’s projects and riverfront.
The resolution also says that “any and all measures should be undertaken by the Mayor and City Administrator to ensure that the present pool be maintained.”
Glover said that was meant to be a “forceful statement” on the part of Council.
Council also unanimously tabled a resolution that would authorize the City Administrator to purchase a new fire pumper.
The resolution states one bid was received for the pumper, and that a discount of $13,292 is offered if the price is paid in full by Jan. 31, 2019.
The price of the pumper with the discount would be $494,718. The resolution states that funds would come from the Capital Projects Sales Tax II fund.
Council member Ken McDowell made a motion to table the resolution until further information was achieved. Discussion during the study session revolved around receiving only one bid for the truck, and paying for it up front.
Council member Bob Brooks said it was “too much of a risk, paying for it up front,” during the study session.
Council also unanimously passed the third and final reading of an ordinance that would authorize the Municipal Association of South Carolina to act as a claimant agency for debt on behalf of the city.
A related resolution was also removed from the table and passed unanimously. The resolution was tabled at the previous meeting on suggestion from City Attorney Kelly Zier, who had concerns with an indemnification agreement. Zier said during the study session that the wording was “massaged” and recommended Council move forward with the resolution.
Council also unanimously passed a motion to appoint Sharon Lamar as city clerk, and to accept the jury box for 2019.
Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.