North Augusta leaders get input on public safety headquarters
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A new building for the North Augusta Department of Public Safety is inching closer to reality.
On Wednesday, city leaders hosted an open forum for people in the city to come out and share their feedback on the building’s design.
The excavators are already clearing land for what’s to come at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Observatory. And what’s to come is being hashed out as we speak.
“I’m seeing some yellow stickies, which is what we wanted,” said Britton Williams, North Augusta mayor.
Those yellow stickies hold handwritten feedback from the public about what they’d like to change about these plans for the new public safety headquarters. City administrator Jim Clifford says they’re happy to see people here weighing in.
“I think a lot of the feedback we’ve had is some of the greenspace, like it to have some kind of overlook for the building itself, and then from architectural perspective, the Georgia columns are something citizens have certainly told us they wanted,” said Clifford.
It’s a project that’s been somewhat of a saga since day one. When the city bought the old historic Flythe property years back before rezoning it for public use. And the people were not happy.
“We’ve had some controversy about the fire station wanting to be put there,” said William Scott, lives next door to the future public safety property.
Scott lives about 40 feet from the property and he’s seen the plans come a long way.
“Naturally, I would rather it not be there. But, I feel like with the input we’re being able to give, I feel a lot better about it than I did. When they finish, I feel like it will be an asset to North Augusta,” he said.
After a lot of negotiating, the fire station is going a block away on the Martintown side of observatory, and the public safety building is going here on the Georgia Avenue side. But the historic Flythe house and caretaker’s house will stay.
“If we kept the property, we could let historic North Augusta preserve those properties. If we sold it, we’d have to sell them — and whoever bought that, good and well is going to tear those buildings home,” said Williams.
And the ultimate goal after years of back and forth is getting this show on the road and getting our public safety officers out of the dump they’re in now.
“The one they have now has mold, has tiles on the floor to catch water. It’s really something we need to get past,” said Clifford.
So what’s the next step? The city administrator will take all of this information from the public, to the architect, and they’ll bring updated plans to city council for a final decision, so they can go to bid next year.
NORTH AUGUSTA PUBLIC SAFETY HEADQUARTERS CONCEPTUAL SITE PLAN:
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