AUGUSTA — City councilors plan to meet Thursday to discuss turning the driveway that serves the new fire station in north Augusta into part of Anthony Avenue.

The new fire station, North Station No. 3, opened off Leighton Road last year, on a portion of a 26-acre parcel owned by the city. The city bought the land in 1999 in hope of using it to attract business to the area. However, the city has not attracted any interest in redeveloping the site. In 2014, city voters approved building a fire station on a corner of the property, but the rest remains available for potential development, city officials said.

City Manager William Bridgeo said he and Matt Nazar, the city’s development director, recommend the driveway built to provide access to the new fire station be designated a city street. More specifically, they recommend it be designated as a continuation of Anthony Avenue, which now ends just across Leighton Road from the fire station, after snaking through the nearby Augusta Business Park.

Nazar said that name makes sense, not only because Anthony Avenue already goes up to the intersection, but because the name of the avenue is already associated with the established business park. That’s where state office buildings, J.S. McCarty printers, Harvey Building Products, the Kennebec Journal and other businesses are located.

“From an economic development perspective, continuing Anthony Avenue across Leighton Road will make marketing the additional city-owned land easier,” Nazar said in a memo to Bridgeo. “The additional land had always been envisioned as an additional business park area and having the street within the existing business park continue into city land is beneficial to the city.”

At a minimum, Bridgeo said Tuesday, the city still has two sites, each about 5 acres, it could sell for development, such as for offices.

“There will be development on it some day,” Bridgeo said of the land. “It’s an asset of the city and when the right opportunity comes along, I expect we’d take advantage of it.”

The fire station, if councilors agree to accept the extension of Anthony Avenue, would be assigned an Anthony Avenue address, according to Bridgeo.

Councilors also are scheduled on Thursday to take their oaths of office, after last week’s inauguration ceremony was canceled because of a blizzard.

School board members elected in November also might participate in the ceremony, even though they technically already have taken their oaths of office, according to Bridgeo.

That’s because the school board meets Wednesday night, before Thursday’s rescheduled inauguration. So board members elected in November — Chairman Edward Hastings, Ward 2 representative Chris Clarke, and At-large representative Jason Bersani, wouldn’t have been sworn in before the board’s first meeting if they had waited for the Thursday ceremony.

Bridgeo said the school board members still may take part in Thursday’s ceremony, even though the three of them already came into Augusta City Center to take their oaths of office informally last week.

City Clerk Roberta Fogg confirmed that the three board members all came in to take their oaths last week.

Councilors taking their oaths of office Thursday are Linda Conti, from Ward 1; Eric Lind, from Ward 4; and Jennifer Day, at large.

City councilors, after the inauguration Thursday, also are scheduled to:

• Consider authorizing the sale of an apartment building at 12 Cumberland St., seized by the city after the former owner failed to keep up on property taxes, for $22,000;

• Consider approving a new two-year contract with general government workers, represented by Teamsters Local 40, which would provide workers with 2 percent pay increases each of the two years, plus other incentives and changes to health insurance plans;

• Discuss replacing a retaining wall at the corner of Bangor and Murray streets;

• Discuss amendments to the Historic District Ordinance; and

• Discuss forming a commission to review and revise the city charter.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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