Mayor Bob Pettit North Augusta City Council

North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit listens to a presentation on a new Public Safety fire station during Council's meeting Monday. 

North Augusta City Council has taken one more step forward in their task of building a new Public Safety fire station.

During their study session Monday night, Council heard a presentation from City Administrator Todd Glover regarding the city’s process in locating a site for a new fire station, which would replace the station off Buena Vista Avenue.

The city purchased property off Georgia Avenue, known as the Flythe property, in order to build the fire station on but has received backlash from the community since the property is in a historic district.

After the study session discussion, Council directed Glover to proceed with the Flythe property.

“My take from tonight was that our next meeting, we will have the rezoning and the overlay changes on the next agenda,” Glover said.

The city has applied for the property to be rezoned to Public Use zoning, as well as amendments to the Development Code that would exempt properties zoned as Public Use from overlay requirements.

Glover also presented on a piece of property that the city has not purchased off Clay Street near Martintown Road.

Council also discussed a potential senior center in the city, and Glover gave a presentation on the progress of looking for a site.

He said Council initially discussed having a senior center at the city's Community Center off Buena Vista Avenue but said with a senior center space is required to be available from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

"To do that, you would essentially be making the Community Center a senior center," he said, adding the city would lose out on some of the rentals at the Community Center.

Glover has identified a potential site, he said, which is about 2,800 square feet, is Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and has plenty of parking.

He said the Aiken Area Council on Aging needs to visit to determine if the building meets their needs.

He said the Council on Aging has been looking for a site in North Augusta where they could bring prepared food and that they would hire a site manager and would handle programming for the site.

The rent for the site, Glover said, is about $11 per square foot, putting rent at about $30,000 per year, not including utilities.

Glover asked Council if they would like to move forward and pursue the project now using the city’s contingency fund or wait until the 2020 budget.

After input from Council, Mayor Bob Pettit said he believed the sense is to proceed now.

During their regular meeting after the study session, Council unanimously passed the third and final reading to amend chapter six, articles II, IV and V of the city’s municipal code, which outline building and construction codes.

Council also unanimously passed a resolution to provide a parade permit for an information picket on Knox Avenue by Communications Workers of America Local 3207. The picket is planned to be June 24 on Knox Avenue near the AT&T building on Knox Avenue and would be from 6:30 a.m. until 8 a.m., Pettit said during the meeting.

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.