Augusta commission addresses Gold Cross, Brigham Center funding and public pools
The Augusta Commission voted today to approve $8.3M in SPLOST funds for renovations to the Henry Brigham Community Center. This, in addition to discussions about the use of public funding to manage swimming pools and a splash pad.
To make the cost fit budget, commissioners agreed to combine money from the Special Local Option Sales Tax as well as funding from the American Rescue Plan.
Additionally, commissioners heard from Parks and Recreation about the hours public pools and splashpads are open. Recreation Director Maurice McDowell said it’s a combination of cost and fewer lifeguards, which is not just a local issue.
McDowell was asked by a commissioner, "so if we had more lifeguards, more staff, then Bernie Ward and Jones Pool could be opened longer if we had more staff, correct?"
He replied, "That would help but also you're dealing with old aging infrastructure with all these particular sites. So we either have to have the resources to to address these things, bring them up to modern times in terms of the pumps area."
Also on the agenda Tuesday, further discussions about the Gold Cross EMS dispatch times and the pending contract agreement between the company and Augusta-Richmond County. Commissioners approved the city administrator meet with Gold Cross to discuss the current “memorandum of understanding” to formulate a new contract.