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Commission Faces Big Dollar Decisions on Boathouse

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta rowers could soon be back in their space at The Boathouse after a commission committee recommends spending up to a half a million dollars to fix damage caused by water line breaks

“If it meets their needs to get us by until we come up with a permanent solution at least it gives them a place to train and store their equipment,” said Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson.  

The Boathouse has been the home for the Rowing club for more than 25 years, but city officials are saying the entire building needs to be repaired with an estimated price of about six million dollars.

“You have about two million in decking work and stairs that needs to be done and beyond that you have some work that needs to be done on the inside to bring it up to condition where we can rent it out again,” said Interim Central Services Director Ron Lampkin.

But the city does not have six million dollars available now for the Boathouse. 

“Because this project was not budgeted in the 2023 fiscal year, there will be other concessions made to fund this project,” said Interim City Administrator Takyiah Douse.  

So, city leaders are considering other options.

“I’d like to tear it down and take it the voters and the citizens of Richmond County through a SPLOST offering to see if we can get a marquis facility there,” said Mayor Johnson.

“The commission is committed to supporting the rowing club whether that is a temporary fix for them but to spend a half a million dollars on remediation and then tear it down is not something I’m going to support,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

The Boathouse is past its prime, and it’s facing an uncertain future.

Source: WJBF News