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Downtown Development Authority is asked for parking plan

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Augusta commissioners have questions about the Downtown Development Authority's proposal to become the city's parking police and have postponed action for 30 days so the authority can answer them.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to refer the proposal back to the authority for specifics on how much it will cost to run the program and how much revenue it expects.

Commissioner Don Grantham asked DDA Executive Director Margaret Woodard to come up with a business plan for commissioners to consider.

"We've had costs presented without any revenue stream," he said. "I'm asking the DDA not to be dependent on the general fund."

City Administrator Fred Russell suggested that the DDA schedule a session with commissioners to allow them to ask questions and express concerns they have received from the public about the parking proposal.

DDA member Sanford Loyd took exception to the motion and said the ordinance had been to commission committees twice and to the full commission twice.

"The process had gone on for quite some time," he said. "I guess I just don't understand the process, the process in terms of where we are."

Russell said the proposal would not be complete - and commissioners not satisfied - until the concepts, methodology and verbiage were understood.

"This time we're talking specifics," he said. "This time we're talking words."

Loyd said the verbiage has been in place all the time and had not changed.

Commissioner Bill Lockett challenged that statement, saying the numbers had changed from meeting to meeting.

"People aren't stupid," he said. "You write a ticket, put a boot on a car, they aren't coming back. If you were using your own money, you wouldn't be for it."

Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason said the DDA could agree to meet with commissioners and give them the specifics or they could vote right then, and he didn't think all commissioners were on board.

Parties vying for Patch will present packages

Augusta commissioners delayed a decision on the Augusta Municipal Golf Course for 60 days to allow Augusta State University, First Tee of Augusta, the Richmond County Board of Education and other interested parties to put together a package that would save the course at no cost to the city.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham tried to persuade his colleagues to again seek proposals from private firms to lease the course, known as the Patch, for a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years.

He said commissioners need to "stop the bleeding" from the city's general fund to make up for losses at the course.

Commissioner Joe Bowles said any entity interested in leasing the property can submit a proposal, but ASU President William Bloodworth, who attended the meeting, said the school cannot legally enter into a multiyear lease.

"There's no way legally ASU could respond to the RFP," he said.

Brigham's substitute motion to seek proposals failed 3-7 with him, Bowles and Commissioner Joe Jackson voting for it.

The motion to postpone for 60 days passed 7-3, with Brigham, Bowles and Jackson voting no.

The city's first requests for proposals did not yield a qualified proposal, according to the city's Procurement Director Geri Sams. The single proposal received is now under appeal.

Comments (16)

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FedupwithAUG
0
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FedupwithAUG 10/05/10 - 11:04 pm
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The whole parking issue being

The whole parking issue being controled by the DDA is a real bad idea.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 10/05/10 - 11:08 pm
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Common sense makes a come

Common sense makes a come back.

a different drum
26
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a different drum 10/05/10 - 11:47 pm
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Why don't we send a message

Why don't we send a message to these people -- let's all stay away from downtown on Friday.

a different drum
26
Points
a different drum 10/05/10 - 11:56 pm
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There use to be plenty of

There use to be plenty of parking on Broad Street until they built the off street parking -- it looks nice, but it takes up a lot of parking spaces. As I remember the city did this trying to bring business back downtown (after the malls opened).

specialist
85
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specialist 10/05/10 - 11:51 pm
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I'm here to tell you, the

I'm here to tell you, the first time those DDA clowns ticket me, I'll never be back down town. PERIOD

jb1234
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jb1234 10/05/10 - 11:56 pm
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Come on commish, just say no

Come on commish, just say no already, it's obvious that you don't wanna do it since you've delayed making a decision for a month now...

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 10/05/10 - 11:59 pm
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Does anyone know if anyone on

Does anyone know if anyone on the DDA has a business downtown or any tie to a downtown business?
It seems like downtown businesses will not benefit from any of this, but clearly the DDA will benefit from tickets when the money funds operations (i.e. the salaries of those pushing to be deputized).

Emerydan
9
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Emerydan 10/06/10 - 12:46 am
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Love how the commission just

Love how the commission just delays and sends things back to the committee.. how about just take a vote and be done with it.

FedupwithAUG
0
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FedupwithAUG 10/06/10 - 12:50 am
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Ronnie needs to take this

Ronnie needs to take this issue on. The problem is he has been in office to long and dont want to upset the status quo.

Brad Owens
3654
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Brad Owens 10/06/10 - 06:12 am
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This story is incorrect when

This story is incorrect when it states, "DDA member Sanford Loyd." He is NOT a member of the DDA, he is a FORMER member of the DDA who still works with them on parking issues. When he WAS on the DDA four or five years ago, he was the person in charge of the "Parking Committee."

Looks like the Commission needs more time to work out the court thing. I bet that we see the DDA getting the authority to issue tickets that are then processed by the county in traffic court. Still a BAD idea.

Hey, I want to be the traffic court judge, I am sure that this can be a position held by someone other than an attorney, or at least it should be.

Clerk of the Court.."All rise for the Honorable Bradley E. Owens."

Me, "Be seated."

Clerk of Court..."The High Traffic Court of Augusta-Richmond County is now in session, Judge Bradley E. Owens presiding."

'Her come de Judge! Here come de Judge!'

I wonder what would happen if the DDA spent as much time working on REAL problems facing downtown redevelopment as they did on crapola like this parking thing? I wonder how far along we would be right about now downtown...

Are we as tax payers getting our $200,000.00 worth out of these guys every year?

The Honorable Bradley E. Owens has issued a ruling on that. I said, and I quote me directly, "Never have so many done so little with so much for so few."

Trying to keep a sense of humor,

Brad

naycan
42
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naycan 10/06/10 - 07:08 am
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Factoid. The DDA is alloted

Factoid. The DDA is alloted $154,000 annually and I do believe they took a 15 percent reduction this year as well. I am not defending them in anyway but I do believe the public needs to know the correct amount. As far as the parking plan, they have no busiiness plan? What were they thinking? Any one wanting to open a new business or government department should have a business plan explaining what it will do, how it will do it, what it will cost and where the initial moneys are coming from. Beware of them using SPLOST funds.

Little Lamb
40206
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Little Lamb 10/06/10 - 04:58 pm
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Dandy Don Grantham wants the

Dandy Don Grantham wants the DDA to include their estimates for their "revenue stream" from parking tickets in their business proposal. I would guess that that estimate would be pulled out of a hat. They have no way to know how many tickets they would write in their first year, second year, third year.

But you can bet when they come back before the commission that they will produce a "revenue stream" estimate that is considerably larger than the up front money and the annual money allocated from the city for the meter maids' salaries.

Little Lamb
40206
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Little Lamb 10/06/10 - 05:01 pm
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Can you believe that the

Can you believe that the commissioners want other government entities to take over Patch operations instead of the city government? What would another government agency do better? They would still be inefficient and not capable of making a profit.

thewiz0oz
9
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thewiz0oz 10/06/10 - 05:14 pm
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How complicated can a

How complicated can a two-inch putt be -- it’s simple --with Broad Street as a long-term parking deck empty buildings will stay empty because potential developers do not have a predictable parking resource -- people who fought parking meters & said “enforce the laws in place” now say “but not on me”. Either we manage our parking resources or they manage us -- a comprehensive plan is needed -- safe, affordable and convenient off street parking is needed for employees, residents and long-term parking -- high turnover short-term parking spots need to turn over--not be monopolized by long term parking -- parking decks, parking meters and yes, even courteous citizens are part of the solution -- if not the DDA then who? Downtown merchants & land owners have better influence with the DDA than with the Commissioners or the Sheriff’s Department -- wake up downtown advocates and smell the coffee.

Little Lamb
40206
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Little Lamb 10/08/10 - 09:13 am
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0

Wiz, why don't you admit that

Wiz, why don't you admit that they are building a parking deck on Reynolds Street? Is it big enough to satisfy your requirements above for “employees, residents and long-term parking?” I don't think so. But did I hear you pounding the table in committee meetings or speaking up at commission meetings or calling press conferences to engage citizen action before the small parking deck was approved? No.

The original purpose for creating the DDA was to have a mechanism in place to issue bonds to construct parking decks downtown. The bonds were to be paid back from the parking fees collected from those parking in the deck. Why has the DDA not built these decks?

Little Lamb
40206
Points
Little Lamb 10/08/10 - 09:21 am
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Sylvia Cooper wrote: Augusta

Sylvia Cooper wrote:

Augusta commissioners have questions about the Downtown Development Authority's proposal to become the city's parking police and have postponed action for 30 days so the authority can answer them. Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to refer the proposal back to the authority for specifics on how much it will cost to run the program and how much revenue it expects.

Now, let's examine the arrogance and condescension displayed by one Sanford Lloyd:

DDA member Sanford Loyd took exception to the motion and said the ordinance had been to commission committees twice and to the full commission twice. "The process had gone on for quite some time," he said. "I guess I just don't understand the process, the process in terms of where we are."

The DDA is trying to ram a program down the throats of the citizens of Augusta to create a revenue stream for itself. The seeds of another bloated, self-serving government agency are about to be sown. The DDA turning itself into a law-enforcement agency has nothing in common with its charter and intent. It is time to say, “NO!” to Sanford Lloyd and the DDA.

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