Hyde Park suggestions on agenda

Augusta commissioners will be asked today to approve refunding 2007 paid property taxes and one-half of 2008 taxes to Hyde Park property owners.


The tax refunds and reductions are among seven recommendations the commission's Hyde Park Subcommittee will propose to the finance committee to assist residents of the subdivision who contend their property has been contaminated by adjacent industries. The estimated cost will be about $25,000.

Other subcommittee recommendations are to:

- Allocate SPLOST funding to improve community infrastructure and soil remediation.

Estimated cost: $2.5 million.

- Authorize start of engineering and design work for the storm drainage system.

- Authorize application for a U.S. Housing and Urban Development loan to provide grants and low-cost loans to homeowners for property developments and improvements.

Estimated cost: $10 million to be repaid in annual installments over 20 years.

- Allocate funds for reopening and operation of the Hyde Park Community Center. The center will fall under the Parks and Recreation Department.

Estimated cost: $85,000

- Allocate funds in the 2009 budget for continued cleanup and demolition of property blight.

Estimated cost: $30,000

- Proceed with Vision Planning and Design Charette planning sessions to engage the community in the start of the revitalization process. Sessions to be conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers and University of Georgia Fanning Institute respectively.

Estimated cost: Sessions are funded by the EPA and the Georgia EPD.

The recommendations are the result of months of meetings between Hyde Park residents and the subcommittee chaired by Commissioner Don Grantham.

Also Monday, the Administrative Services Committee will be asked to approve an affirmative action plan.

The most important element is that it will give the city a way to ensure equal pay for women, said the city's Equal Opportunity Office Director Diana Darris.

"An affirmative action plan allows my office and department heads to have a way to monitor pay issues for all employees to ensure that everyone is being treated and compensated equally in the workplace," Ms. Darris said.

"We're trying to make our workforce a global one that is well-qualified, and we welcome diversity."

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.


Other issues commissioners will be asked to consider today include:

- Approval of an intergovern-mental memorandum of understanding with the Georgia Board of Regents and the Housing Authority and the transfer of $10 million for the acquisition of Gilbert Manor property, which will be used for expansion of the Medical College of Georgia.

- Approval of $40,198.50 to Studio 3 Design Group, Craig, Gaulden Davis, W.R. Toole Engineers, Michael M. Simpson & Associates and Electrical Design Consultants for design changes to the proposed new main library. R.W. Allen Construction has also requested an increase in the company's $16,287,000 base bid to $16,335,000 materials changes.