Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Before COVID the Boathouse was an active city rental facility, a money maker now its future in question what city leaders appear to be agreeing on that it’s days of looking like this are numbered.
When it comes to the boathouse commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight is set on the best course to take.
“There was a potential buyer out there who wanted to buy the place, and why not, why not allow somebody you know step outside the box and be creative let’s let somebody else who wants to buy it,” said Commissioner McKnight.
But Mayor Davis says he wants to keep the Boathouse property, replacing it with a “signature” project.
“I think I have been adamant about it, it needs to be torn down, it needs to be torn down and a signature facility built,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.
The city has about 500 thousand dollars in SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funds for the boathouse but the estimate to get it fixed up is one point three million dollars, so another 800 thousand dollars would be needed to make repairs.
“The building is old it has a lot of issues to try and put a band aid on it would not be the right solution obviously you have to find the funding for it but I do believe starting over from scratch to the way to go,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
But there is no money budgeted right now for a signature facility at the Boathouse.
“Finding somebody who wants to go into a private partnership with us if they want to lease that property build something that would better suit them, I think that would be a win-win for Augusta,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
But should the city build its own signature project at the Boathouse?
“No not at this time not without having a clear vision exactly what we want out of it,” said Garrett.
“I haven’t changed my mind, I feel like for the taxpayers who live in Augusta Georgia lets free it up let’s sell it and who will take care of it do it,” said McKnight.
Now city leaders are agreeing that whatever decision is made about the Boathouse, a signature building, renovations, or a private public partnership is not going to happen overnight.