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

Laney-Walker, Bethlehem will get money for revitalization

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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.

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Trey Enfantay
9
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Trey Enfantay 05/05/10 - 03:31 am
0
0
"...former District 1

"...former District 1 Commissioner Betty Beard will serve as its vice chairwoman."

What could possibly go wrong? She should have recused herself for conflict of interest as a slumlord in those areas.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 05/05/10 - 07:45 am
0
0
How in the world can they

How in the world can they appoint an employee to a chairwoman position. And further, what qualifications does the IT department head have in the areas of transportation, land use, investments in private developments, etc. that demand her appointment? As to the Deans Bridge purchases, maybe the AC could tell us tyhe size of the lots and who the owners were? Apparently there was something wrong with the purchase for the board to spend 75 minutes in legal session.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 05/05/10 - 08:07 am
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I am a big buyer of tax free

I am a big buyer of tax free bonds but would like to know if this issue is insured and also what is the underlying rateing of the bonds before the insurance is added. I would assume that it would be a general obligation bond of the city which has a good pay record. I would not buy if it is tied to a project that is not a general obligation bond because the city has taxing authority and a special purpose bond does not.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 05/05/10 - 09:19 am
0
0
All, Please check out Chris

All, Please check out Chris Thomas' interview on Channel 12. http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/92807684.html
The "Rev" Grier states that the revitalization is a "Farce" and the City is lying @ revitalization.
UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!
Please notice the beauty of the home he walks into as he complains the City has done nothing for the area... Who maintained his home????? He probably did as the others should have.
We have 98% (geographically) of Augusta asking why the city can't help them and $37 million going to Laney Walker and he is complaining that's not enough....
People help me understand what I'm missing

jb1234
0
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jb1234 05/05/10 - 11:31 am
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Well Joe, it seems to me that

Well Joe, it seems to me that the dear old 'reverend' blames the city for the problems that Laney Walker faces when in reality many of the problems there are caused by it's own residents. There is absolutely no reason why this area should have become this dilapidated in the first place, regardless of whether these people are poor or not. It's like my great-grandmother used to say: 'We may be poor, but we don't have to be dirty'.

As far as I'm concerned, the 'rev' should be happy that the city is actually spending the money to fix up this area, in no law books that I've ever read does it say that the government has the responsibility or requirement of revitalizing a run-down area. The city is doing this out of respect and compassion for it's citizens in hopes that it will help everyone, whether they live there or not. But Joe, you're always going to have people who are going to complain no matter what you do. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

That's just my 2 cents.

harrisburglady
0
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harrisburglady 05/05/10 - 01:19 pm
0
0
You have got to be kidding.

You have got to be kidding. Betty Beard, slumlord of Augusta is, vice chairwoman of this project...Why do the Laney Walker area get all this money. What about the other neighborhoods in Augusta. The commission is not giving them anything...Laney walker is delapedated and let me tell you why. People in that area decided they did not want to live there anymore. They wanted to get out and live in other areas. So they did and the Laney area went down hill. NOW, after leaving the Laney Walker area the people managed to tear down other good nice looking neighborhoods. SO-go ahead and rebuild Laney, maybe everyone will move back....Then, it will the other people's turn to receive 80 million to rebuild their neighborhoods... I can not believe the Commission gave all this money to one area. I sure hope my commissioner did not vote for it...If he did, I will work very hard to see he is not reelected....

countyman
20127
Points
countyman 05/05/10 - 01:26 pm
0
0
Harrisburg has a $100 million

Harrisburg has a $100 million Kroc Center, Martha Lester School(residential-commercial), and Broad Mill Village going up in the area...

chel
0
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chel 05/05/10 - 01:34 pm
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@Mr. Bowles- Maybe there is

@Mr. Bowles- Maybe there is an underlying message in Rev. Grier's position? I know our non-profit was told we were the "wrong color" to get the community support from the area churches in this area to open a teen shelter. "What's in it for us" was the other question we received from another so called "Reverend". As the old saying goes, "oh what a tangle web we weave when first we practice to deceive".

jb1234
0
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jb1234 05/05/10 - 02:50 pm
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Well Harrisburglady, if your

Well Harrisburglady, if your user-name is any hint as to where you live, I'd assume that your commissioner is Aitken, who hadn't even been sworn in when this vote was passed, so, you should probably go talk to Beard about it.

harrisburgwillrise
0
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harrisburgwillrise 05/05/10 - 02:54 pm
0
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countyman, Harrisburg is

countyman,

Harrisburg is happy to have the Kroc Center, however, there is no money designated for the neighborhood itself. all of the money goes to Kroc which came about through private funding. We need money to maintain the integrity and infrastructure of the neighborhood. Martha Lester School, etc. is privately owned and is donating no money to the neighborhood proper. This is the difference!

Brad Owens
4429
Points
Brad Owens 05/05/10 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Well, lets just see how this

Well, lets just see how this all turns out.

Brad

countyman
20127
Points
countyman 05/05/10 - 03:33 pm
0
0
Olde Town is much further

Olde Town is much further along than all the inner city or outskirts of downtown neighborhoods. Harrisburg is much further along than Laney Walker. Laney Walker is much further along than Bethlehem. The side of Harrisburg between Eve street and the Hill has nice lawns, homes, etc. Only the side of Harrisburg between Eve street and the Medical District needs gentrification. The Kroc Center, Martha Lester School, and Broad Mill Village are all being built in this side of Harrisburg.

Their is no need to give Harrisburg any money. Kroc Center's raise property values everywhere they're built.

harrisburglady
0
Points
harrisburglady 05/05/10 - 03:38 pm
0
0
jb1234 - Beard may have been

jb1234 - Beard may have been the commissioner at the time, but she still did nothing for other neighborhoods. I may be from Harrisburg, but District One covers more neighborhoods than Harrisburg. Countryman, the Kroc Center is for Richmond County. It just happens to be in the Harrisburg neighborhood. It is not bringing money in to help clean up the neighborhood. Martha Lester School does not belong to Harrisburg. It is not bringing money in for Harrisburg. Harrisburgwillrise, tell it like it is. I am suprise that more neighborhoods are not up in arms about the 80 million going to the LW area. I rode over there today on business and they are paving many of the roads/streets. Look at Crawford Ave and Eve Street. Even Walton Way looks bad as well as Broad Street in the Harrisburg neighborhood and more bad roads in other areas. Maybe Aitken had not been sworn in then, but from here on out, lets see how he takes care of District one. My neighborhood as well as your neighborhood.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 05/05/10 - 03:41 pm
0
0
Is there anybody out there

Is there anybody out there willing to invest in a city of Augusta bond?

As a comparison, Greek bondholders were just told they'd be lucky to get 30 cents on the dollar from their bonds.

Govt. bonds are not what they used to be as cities and counties struggle financially.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 05/05/10 - 09:42 pm
0
0
Chillen, Augusta backed bonds

Chillen, Augusta backed bonds are AAA rated....I still prefer my investments in securities not linked to municipalities.

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