North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- The debate is heating up in North Augusta on building a new Public Safety headquarters on the old Seven Gables property. That’s on the corner of Georgia Avenue and Martintown Road.
It’s been going on since about 2016 when the city bought the property. After the initial public outcry, the city council decided to look at other options for the new location, but so far have been unable to find anything that works.
People on social media are speaking out against it saying the construction will lower property values and safety is a factor. Members of the council say there’s more to it than people think.
“The other issue that we’re running into…they’re not making anymore land. So that’s why this site has been brought forth again was so that we already own it. Now, the good thing is, with it being just headquarters and the court system, we can preserve the older buildings the carriage house and the Flythe property on there, which is being talked about,” explained city councilman Eric Presnell.
He also says that claims that none of the homeowners in the neighborhood want the Public Safety building there are not true.
“Actually there were some neighbors who turned out in favor of it. Not every neighbor is against it. I believe their sentiment, the ones that are for it, hey, if we do it, let’s do it so it looks good. That it fits into the community which most of us, I can’t speak for everybody on council, just myself, yes I agree. This is a building that’s going to be a part of our community for the next 60, 70, 100 years.”
There will be a zoning hearing before the Planning Commission Thursday, September 16, after which they will make their recommendations to the city council.