Augusta Commission OKs $8 million in revenue bonds to fund revitalization projects

Laney-Walker, Bethlehem will get money for revitalization

The Augusta Commission authorized on Tuesday the issue of $8 million in revenue bonds to finance a variety of revitalization projects in the city's blighted Laney-Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods.

A new seven-member Urban Redevelopment Agency will administer the redevelopment projects, which could range from land use and transportation studies to investments in private developments.

Tameka Allen, the head of Augusta's Information Technology Department, will serve as the agency board's chairwoman, and former District 1 Commissioner Betty Beard will serve as its vice chairwoman.

The project also benefits from $750,000 annually in hotel room taxes and a $1 million loan authorized by the city in December.

Seventy-one percent of structures in the redevelopment zone, which borders the Medical College of Georgia, were found to be in deteriorated or dilapidated condition.

In other action

The commission authorized the purchase of two properties, located at 4338 and 4340 Deans Bridge Road, near the county landfill. The action to make the $135,000 purchase followed a 75-minute session with the city's legal counsel behind closed doors.