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Augusta police, fire departments can't find keys to patrol Regency Mall property

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Vandals and vagrants might have a trickier time roaming the former Regency Mall property after concrete barriers and locked gates were put in place at the road entrances to the site, but fire and police authorities want to make sure they aren’t locked out, too.

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Yellow swing arm gates were installed last Thursday at Regency Mall's two entrances. The fire and police departments say they don't yet have keys to the gates and cannot patrol the property.  Meg Mirshak/Staff
Meg Mirshak/Staff
Yellow swing arm gates were installed last Thursday at Regency Mall's two entrances. The fire and police departments say they don't yet have keys to the gates and cannot patrol the property.


After yellow swing arm gates were installed last Thursday at the vacant mall’s two entrances on Deans Bridge Road at Richmond Hill Road and on Gordon Highway at Thomas Lane, fire and police have not been able to locate keys that the property owner, Cardinal Management, said they provided to both departments last week.

The fire department was given the combination to a lockbox on the gate post at Deans Bridge Road, but the box doesn’t have the key needed to unlock the padlock, said Capt. Jim Griffin, who oversees the sheriff’s department’s south precinct that includes Regency Mall. Police never received a lockbox combination or a key, Griffin said.

Mark Axler, an executive with Cardinal Management, said the gates and barriers prevent people from using the parking lots for dumping trash and construction supplies. A tour of the building last June showed evidence of some vandalism, and copper was stolen from rooftop air conditioning units, he said.

“They should be able to get in if they need to get in,” Axler said. “I told the city I was doing it; and we did it.”

“It’s a fairly large area that could be a haven for criminal activity,” Griffin said.

This week, the deputies assigned to the beat that includes Regency Mall asked Griffin about a key. One had not yet made its way to the south precinct Thursday, he said.

“If they want us to patrol it, (the sheriff) would expect them to provide us with keys,” Griffin said.

Griffin said he planned to call the property owner Thursday to clear up confusion about the missing keys.

Cardinal Management was notified Sept. 6 that they had 10 days to provide an emergency access road to the site, said Augusta-Richmond County Fire Marshal Jack Womack. Rows of concrete barriers placed at several entranceways to the property at the end of June cut off vehicle access.

Patrolling will be impossible if they can’t gain key access to the swing gate. While police have checked up on the vacant property, officers are not expected to patrol the large area on foot, he said.

A minimum of four keys should be provided for each shift with a fifth spare key on hand, Womack said.

“If the key is out here, I haven’t seen one,” Griffin said. “This is something business owners have done for years.”

With cold weather months ahead, homeless people are expected to squat on the property, he said. Emergency personnel need to reach the area quickly for problems such as a fire, he said.

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PR
0
Points
PR 10/06/11 - 03:39 pm
0
0
Hopefully someone will torch
Unpublished

Hopefully someone will torch the place and the FD won't be able to get in. Instant redevelopment...problem solved.

my.voice
5085
Points
my.voice 10/06/11 - 03:41 pm
0
0
Two words...... BOLT CUTTER

Two words...... BOLT CUTTER

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/06/11 - 03:41 pm
0
0
Why am I so often reminded of

Why am I so often reminded of Hal Roach when reading about the goings on with our fair city? Alfalfa what did you do with the keys?

seenitB4
93610
Points
seenitB4 10/06/11 - 04:08 pm
0
0
The Great Mall is in the news

The Great Mall is in the news again---again--again...

TCB22
688
Points
TCB22 10/06/11 - 05:28 pm
0
0
There is just one "L" in fire

There is just one "L" in fire "marshal." A lot of people get that wrong for some reason.

augusta citizen
9948
Points
augusta citizen 10/06/11 - 07:46 pm
0
0
This delapidated pile of junk

This delapidated pile of junk sure gets quite a bit of news coverage. One would think it's owned by the citizens. I think the city/county government and others are obsessed about this place.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 10/06/11 - 07:51 pm
0
0
If they are so obsessed with
Unpublished

If they are so obsessed with this property then why did they let the owner get that huge property tax break? Regular citizens that contribute to ARC got squat...more of the same when it comes to Disgusta politics!!

Dixieman
16580
Points
Dixieman 10/07/11 - 02:44 am
0
0
Fire Martial.

Fire Martial.

augusta citizen
9948
Points
augusta citizen 10/07/11 - 05:41 am
0
0
Iwannakno, I didn't mean it

Iwannakno, I didn't mean it that way. It was wrong that the owner of Regency Mall wasn't paying enough taxes and he should be made to pay whatever amount is fair. I meant obsessed in always trying to incorporate it into studies and plans. If ARC tries to buy it and do something with it, they'll just end up spending a lot of money that they don't have to spend.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/07/11 - 06:17 am
0
0
How about someone with some

How about someone with some pull call the STATE Fire Marshall's Office have them do a independant safety audit of the closed up mall? It would be interesting to see if the property passes safety and fire codes after all these years of sitting there being neglected by the owners.

seenitB4
93610
Points
seenitB4 10/07/11 - 06:41 am
0
0
I have the keys & I'm sitting

I have the keys & I'm sitting on them til I can get back & re-open..don't try to squeeze any info. out of me..it will be a surprise & it won't be some dadburn ballpark either!
:O)

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 10/07/11 - 07:16 am
0
0
Two turns to the right, one

Two turns to the right, one to the left....

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 10/07/11 - 07:23 am
0
0
Surely there are no

Surely there are no applicable fire codes for a vacant building. One nice thing about the Regency Mall building is that it is so isolated. If it catches on fire, it poses no threat to any other building in the vicinity. I say just leave the place alone and collect the property taxes.

The strange thing to me are the actions of the city. The property has been sitting vacant for years; indeed, over a decade. Why all of a sudden does the city order the owner to put up security? There are plenty of other properties in town that have no security on their driveways.

And the cutesy, cutesy lead in by cub reporter Meg Mirshak is total hogwash. It will not be "trickier" (is this a Halloween trick?) for a vagrant to roam that property. Maybe a fire engine would find difficulty getting around that yellow swing arm gate, but a vagrant or vandal would have no problem.

Regency Mall is the classic "beam in the eye" that Jesus taught about. Fred Russell worries about the tiny Regency Mall while in his own eye is the huge beam of city corruption. Regency Mall is the gnat that Ronnie Strength strains at while swallowing the camel of waste, sloth and corruption.

Leave Regency Mall alone. It does not belong to you and you have no business there.

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 10/07/11 - 07:31 am
0
0
LL, beautiful. Getting past

LL, beautiful. Getting past the emotions that so many fall for and to the truth is something few can do. Great observations.

fftaz71
108
Points
fftaz71 10/07/11 - 07:38 am
0
0
Little Lamb in no way did the

Little Lamb in no way did the article say that the city ordered them to put up security. The management company did it on their own...the city just wants the police and fire depts to be able to access it if they need to.
A fire in that place is somewhat more of a threat becuase nobody ever knows what is really in a vacant building...including lives.
And believe it or not, vacant structures still need to comply with basic fire safety and builiding codes...so yes, this is an issue.

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 10/07/11 - 07:46 am
0
0
FFtaz, so it would be better

FFtaz, so it would be better if they hadn't put up security barriers? What is the size limit of something before you have to provide law enforcement keys? Does every empty structure have to provide keys?

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 10/07/11 - 07:54 am
0
0
What do you mean law

What do you mean law enforcement can't patrol on foot in there? It hasn't stopped them in the past. The one officer walked through there and snuck up on the lovers in the car. After he made the girl strip for him he went back to his car. No wonder the owners put up barricades.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 10/07/11 - 07:56 am
0
0
Let's think about this fire

Let's think about this fire thing logically. If the owner of the property wants to put up security around his property and the property catches on fire, I would say that the fire department has no responsibility to go to heroic measures to defeat the security measures to get to the buildings on the property. The fire department would have the responsibility to station personnel on the perimeter of the property to prevent the fire from spreading off site. It might be a blessing for the Regency Mall buildings to burn to the ground while the firemen watch.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 10/07/11 - 08:04 am
0
0
Cub reporter Meg Mirshak

Cub reporter Meg Mirshak wrote:

Cardinal Management was notified Sept. 6 that they had 10 days to provide an emergency access road to the site, said Augusta-Richmond County Fire Marshal Jack Womack. Rows of concrete barriers placed at several entranceways to the property at the end of June cut off vehicle access. Patrolling will be impossible if they can’t gain key access to the swing gate. While police have checked up on the vacant property, officers are not expected to patrol the large area on foot, he said.

Is Regency Mall being picked on by the city because of covetousness? I'll bet there are hundreds of parcels in this county that have fences and gates that have not been ordered by the fire marshal to provide an "emergency access road."

Let it burn.

EMS6465
0
Points
EMS6465 10/07/11 - 08:18 am
0
0
If my memory serves me right

If my memory serves me right there was an article last year sometime saying that the Richmond County Marshals had an office in the old mall. There were pictures in the article showing the conditions of the office. And they quoted a Marshal saying he would not go to that office because of the conditions. So are you telling me the Marshals can't get to there office. And if the office is such bad shape why are we as taxpayers paying rent on an office that can't be used?

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 10/07/11 - 08:46 am
0
0
This Chronicle article says

This Chronicle article says that the Marshal substation was the last tenant at Regency Mall, and they moved out this past March.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 10/07/11 - 10:01 am
0
0
Meant no disrespect to you
Unpublished

Meant no disrespect to you augusta...just used your word to prove my point!!

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 10/07/11 - 11:55 am
0
0
The cops and fire dept lost

The cops and fire dept lost the keys? AAAAAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Too funny. At least Barney can keep up with his one bullet.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 10/07/11 - 12:40 pm
0
0
What a hoot!

What a hoot!

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 10/07/11 - 12:47 pm
0
0
Local government should load

Local government should load this place up with food, weapons, and ammo. When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, residents can take shelter there and pickoff Zombies from the rooftop; I saw it in a movie so you know it works. The cost would be low because there’s only 8-14 non-infected people left in these types of situations. I cite IMDB as my source.

shrimp for breakfast
5503
Points
shrimp for breakfast 10/07/11 - 04:06 pm
0
0
I just want to know one

I just want to know one thing...

Littlle Lamb how do you get all the different type faces?
Man that is really cool. I'm too computer illeterate to be able to do anything like that.

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 10/07/11 - 06:13 pm
0
0
Shrimp, LL only lets you in

Shrimp, LL only lets you in on that after you present an acceptable explanation of Atlas Shrugged.

Riverman1
90455
Points
Riverman1 10/07/11 - 06:18 pm
0
0
BJ,you're getting better.

BJ,you're getting better. Almost. It's just a little too much off the subject, but I have to admit I love it when the editors cite movie quotes they looked up on IMDB.

bkl4516
1
Points
bkl4516 10/08/11 - 03:12 am
0
0
I'm sick of hearing about

I'm sick of hearing about this old mall. Tear it down, then charge for parking!

seenitB4
93610
Points
seenitB4 10/08/11 - 07:02 am
0
0
This will be a reincarnation

This will be a reincarnation one day....soo stop picking on the Regency...it will never go away...:)

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