As we’ve said before, with the A more or less saved (some say less, but we’ve all got to save face, right?) and the TEE Center management agreement put to bed, Augusta has become a boring place.
Well, while the cavalry hasn’t exactly arrived, there’s evidence to suggest the horsemen are riding hard. Their dust, as we predicted, is starting to darken the horizon.
At the committee meetings this week, feisty commissioners pushed back against the city business proposed by Administrator Fred Russell, forcing him to back off, rally his own troops, and prepare to fight another day.
It’s hardly a good old-fashioned air rights argument, but beggars can’t be choosers, can they?
One involved a $400,000 change order to the architects for the Municipal Center renovation and modernization, paid to accommodate the changes the commission made to the project a few months ago.
Remember those life safety and fire safety issues? Well, the changes made back then are having some hard financial consequences now, and Rev. J.R. Hatney wasn’t happy about it. Specifically, he wanted to know what the starting construction figures were, arguing that, without them, Russell was, in effect, allowing the design firm to write a blank check.
Hatney, of course, seems to be suspicious of any big-ticket item with a price tag, and he makes it clear with his abrupt delivery that he is not open to any argument or fact that goes counter to his suspicions.
After meek resistance, Russell recommended postponing the issue and bringing it back to committee with some additional information.
He can’t drag his feet too long, however — Marion Williams is fast approaching, and he promises to make Hatney look like a nice, if slightly confused, little old man.
The second issue involved the walkway between the TEE Center and the TEE Center parking deck, a link between hot potatoes.
This time Russell started out looking to spend $991,561 for the design, fabrication, installation and startup work involving the pedestrian bridge.
Almost immediately, he wanted to bring it back to the next committee meeting, but not before Joe Bowles was able to let it be known that there was no way he was going to allow proceeds from an electronic sign planned to hang above Reynolds Street end up with Riverfront LLC, managers of everything about the place including the kitchen sink.
Whether or not the Georgia Department of Transportation would allow the sign is beside the point. Commissioners are reading the fine print again, which means that the legal department can prepare for more open records requests. You Might Also Like:
Ride, Horseman! Ride!
Posted in Insider