HomeNewsBroad Street Property Green-Lit for Hotel Use at Augusta Commission

Broad Street Property Green-Lit for Hotel Use at Augusta Commission

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Augusta Commissioners discussed hotels, ambulances and masks at the Oct. 19 meeting.

Developer Dallas Hooks petitioned commissioners to allow a special exemption to create an extended stay hotel at property located on 758 Broad St. According to documents filed with the Planning and Zoning Department, the 13,127-square foot Johnson Building, which was built in 1924, has been vacant since Rock Bottom Music vacated in 2015.

Hooks’ proposal is to convert the building’s top floor into a 14-unit extended stay hotel, and the commission consented to the request unanimously. When reached by phone, Hooks declined to comment on his plans for the building.

“It’s early right now, and I don’t want to say too much until I have stronger footing,” Hooks said.

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Commissioners also agreed to a rate increase request for Gold Cross EMS. The request came in the wake of the emergency services subcommittee’s weeks worth of wrangling over whether not to cut funding to Gold Cross despite agreements made in a memorandum of understanding with the city.

In a letter to the commission, Gold Cross Vice President Steven Vincent said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused costs to rise dramatically and that more and more uninsured people are finding themselves unable to pay.

Vincent’s request was to approve a market-based rate of $1,750 for the service and charge $28 a mile.

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The increase will only affect people who are already insured. In his letter, Vincent said that costs for uninsured and those whose insurance refuses to pay will not see any increase for the service.

“At no time will a patient be charged more than $1,150 base charge and $16.50 per mile,” the letter states.

District 2 Commissioner Dennis Williams, a long-time critic of Gold Cross EMT, was the lone holdout on the vote.

Augusta Commissioners also passed a mask mandate proposed by City Administrator Odie Donald that is effective immediately. The mask requirement is for all publicly owned buildings, with the exception of the James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium.

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During the discussion, District 10 Commissioner John Clarke, a vocal critic of mask mandates, said he was a bit confused at the exceptions to Donald’s mask rule.

“Doesn’t the city own the JBA and Bell? Why are we exempting them?” Clarke asked.

“Yes, uh, we don’t want to negatively affect commerce,” Donald said.

“Thank you,” Clarke said.

Scott Hudson is the Senior Reporter for The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected]

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