Demolition of unsafe properties to go before committee

 

Fifty-three burned-out, disintegrating and otherwise uninhabitable structures are included in the first step of a new push for demolition going before an Augusta Com­mis­sion committee today for approval.

The abandoned structures, included in Phase 1 of a $3 million effort to rid the county of 290 unsafe, blighted and nuisance properties, will cost about $5,530 each to demolish, according to an agenda request from Planning and De­vel­op­ment Director Melanie Wilson for $200,000 from the city’s capital outlay fund.

Phase 1 includes all 11 structures on the list from District 6, represented by Commissioner Joe Jackson.

“I’ve got burned-out houses that have been needing to come down for years,” he said. The properties attract squatters who use them for unlawful purposes, he said.

The first phase, targeting properties for which title searches have been done and court orders issued, includes one property in District 3, six in District 5, five in District 8 and 15 each from districts 1 and 2. The latter two districts – in the inner city – are where the bulk of blight has been identified with 247 properties on the list.

Commissioners will review the funding request at the Public Services Committee meeting, which is scheduled to start at 12:45 p.m.

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OTHER ACTION ON TODAY’S AGENDA

Also going before commission committees today for discussion are:

• The purchase, using special purpose local option sales tax funds, of seven pumper trucks for $454,438 each and two aerial trucks for $875,181 each, for a total of $4.93 million. Fire Chief Chris James said the trucks will replace several in the fleet that are beyond their useful life of 10-12 years.

• A $102,500 bid award to Christopher Booker and Asso­ciates for design of renovations at the former main library for Augusta Utilities.

• A $647,655 bid award to W.R. Toole Engineers for the design of repairs and improvements to John C. Calhoun Expressway, a Trans­por­tation Investment Act project.

• Johnny Harris, Alicia Waters and Mia Johnson, who have complaints about management of Augusta Public Transit.

• A review, requested by Commis­sioner Bill Lockett, of whether continued outsourcing of public transit service to McDonald Transit is feasible

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