AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Commissioners are not having a lot of fun with this Recreation Department issue, starting a back and forth on the commission dais.
“I don’t see why you are sitting here,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.
“I’m asking a question,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.
“I don’t care. I don’t see why you’re sitting here doing this,” says Williams.
The Brigham Center is back before commissioners because the bids to build a new one came in more than $1.5 million over budget.
With time critical, the city administrator recommending using $1.6 million from surplus rescue act funds to make up the difference.
The vote failed on a 5-to-5 tie.
“About the ARP money, it’s kind of like we wrap our arms around it and don’t want to use it, but it’s going to have to be used. And I’m hoping we can agree to use it for the benefit of the people,” said the Mayor Pro-Tem.
The Brigham Center project is now in limbo, but commissioners are making a decision on Rescue Act funds for Riverwalk.
Last week, the Recreation Director recommended those funds be diverted to the barbecue pit to complete that renovation project.
“We had a couple of bids come in. Of course, those bids were a million plus for the Barbecue Pit short, but that’s one of those projects I think that we at some point decide to invest in it or not,” said Director Maurice McDowell.
But right now, commissioners deciding the $700,000 will remain for Riverwalk improvements.
“Riverwalk is going to generate more people and travel than the Barbecue Pit. The barbecue needs some work does. Does it need it right this second? No, it does not,” says Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
One issue taken care of, but a big one at the Brigham Center still needs work.