Government

More News | | | Editor

Downtown Development Authority denies Riverwalk Augusta tree pruning request

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 4:49 PM
Last updated Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 1:41 AM
  • Follow Business

The Downtown Development Authority voted down a $183,000 tree pruning request along Riverwalk Augusta in favor of allocating $1 million in 1 percent sales tax funding for a more substantial project on the riverfront property.

The board on Thursday denied the request from Augusta’s Parks, Recreation and Facilities department, which would come out of its special purpose local option sales tax revenue. Instead, the panel tasked the authority’s design committee with formulating potential projects at the riverwalk for $1 million of the $1.2 million available in current local option sales tax revenue.

“I think it will give us a useful shelf life on the activities that we can create with $1 million as opposed to $150,000,” said Scylance Scott, a member of the board. “Rather than have that Band-Aid approach, we would in turn make an impact on riverwalk.”

In September, the authority’s design committee discussed and recommended not approving the request.

Scott, who heads the committee, said that state sales tax funds should only be used for capital improvement projects and didn’t believe tree pruning qualified under that category.

The request derived from a city improvement plan to address safety and aesthetic enhancements, which came about this year after the May 3 assault of a South Carolina couple sitting on a bench near the former Fort Discovery building on the riverwalk.

The plan called for various improvement projects to fix broken lighting, beef up police activity, and remove trees and limbs on 300 trees, but much of the work hadn’t been done by early September.

“We’re all trying to align our synergies to work in the same direction,” Scott said. “We truly believe that the growth potential for the riverwalk is exponential.”

Authority Executive Director Margaret Woodard said they had, at one point, considered spending $150,000 for improvements at the riverwalk but more money was needed to make a “significant” impact.

“The question then became, what can we do for $150,000 that’s going to make an impact, and the answer was really nothing,” she said.

One of the authority’s most recent Riverwalk Augusta projects included building a permanent $55,000 stage in 2011 for performances between Eighth and Ninth streets.

Construction of the riverwalk started in 1986 and took nearly a decade to complete.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
janderson1945
1903
Points
janderson1945 10/11/13 - 01:29 am
7
2
$150,000....

Anyone with some imagination or a HS diploma can make drastic improvements to any such area with $150,000.00 and yet the leader of this board say's $150,000.00 really won't do anything.....REALLY?

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 10/11/13 - 06:39 am
0
0
but a $55,000 stage to
Unpublished

but a $55,000 stage to somewhere people are scared to go because they may get beaten will fix the problem. Idiots....

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/11/13 - 06:43 am
0
0
capital improvement projects--the key to stealing funds, It is
Unpublished

much easier to steal from a capital project than an "expense repair/replacement". Ask any business person. Of course there are no business minds in ARC government. Only organized crime.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/11/13 - 06:45 am
0
0
Tax money must be for capital improvements, not maintenance
Unpublished

This is the key to raping the taxpayers. More and more NEW construction. Ever watch the Soprano's. You have such a larger PIE to cut your slice from without specific over-site.

soapy_725
43817
Points
soapy_725 10/11/13 - 06:47 am
0
0
Easier to steal from a major building project than a roof repair
Unpublished

Organized crime realizes this fact and uses it to the max.

Bodhisattva
6476
Points
Bodhisattva 10/11/13 - 07:13 am
0
0
I haven't been to Riverwalk
Unpublished

I haven't been to Riverwalk in years so I have no idea what kind of trees are there. I just hope it doesn't include Crepe Murder like so many places do. Lighting would seem to me to be the number one issue. Bad guys don't like to be seen. What the heck is in the old Fort Discovery building now and are there still businesses that are active along Riverwalk? Like I said, I haven't been since the King George was there and there was a nice parking lot, but some kind of issue with being able to use some of the parking spaces. It felt safe back then because there were hundreds of people milling about. Just wondered if it's 10 or 20 people or still a crowd.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/11/13 - 08:58 am
2
0
Something falls into

Something falls into disrepair b/c of neglect, the city allocates 850,000.00 more dollars than is needed to remedy the problem for a "more substantial project". That doesn't really correct the problem does it? Peculiar reasoning by those who make the calls down there. Will be interesting after a while how they respond to this cycle of spending tax money for something so they can allocate more tax money to fix it....granted in a never-ending manner.

seenitB4
91139
Points
seenitB4 10/11/13 - 09:56 am
2
0
It could make a difference

I just paid $500 to get a few trees trimmed near this house...I would say any & all work done would help the looks-safety of area & would be a beginning of clean up....amazing how some want so much money to make a difference ....
Keep doing NOTHING & reap the same O same O..

Sweet son
10778
Points
Sweet son 10/11/13 - 03:34 pm
1
0
Sounds like the DDA has too much of OUR money in it's

checking account! How many times more is 1 million versus $150,000? Do the math. We don't care about the capital improvement thing. A lot of money was spent to create the Riverwalk and if only $150,000 will make it be refreshed and more safe then I say fund the project and take the rest of the million away from the DDA since it looks like they are sitting on it and have it to waste.

blues550
380
Points
blues550 10/12/13 - 12:12 am
0
0
Skywhat?
Unpublished

DDA Board Member Skylance proclaims "we have to realign our synergies". Really? You have got to be kidding me.

blues550
380
Points
blues550 10/12/13 - 12:13 am
0
0
Puppetmaster
Unpublished

Somewhere behind the curtain in door 3 is the puppemaster and lord of all he owns - including this rag - touting "pay no attention to that dweeb behind door 3.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs