Parking discussion scheduled

Talks about a downtown parking proposal will go forward next month between the Richmond County commissioners and the Downtown Development Authority of Augusta.

A workshop is scheduled Jan. 24 with county commissioners, who must ultimately approve any changes to the downtown parking ordinance, said Margaret Woodard, executive director for the downtown group.

Commissioners considered the plan this fall but voted to send it back to their finance committee for further study. Woodard said the workshop will give the DDA a chance to present the plan and answer any questions commissioners have.

The DDA has been examining the downtown parking situation for more than five years upon a commission request.

The latest proposal would give the downtown organization power to enforce parking rules and write tickets, something the Richmond County Sheriff's Office now does.

A previous proposal by the group to install parking meters downtown was met with widespread resistance from merchants and was scrapped.

"We've got to be able to come up with a plan where everyone says, 'I can live with that,' " said board member Rick Allen, who owns downtown business R.W. Allen. "We've got a variety of interests."

Although the plan has seen revisions, board members said they believe a solution is possible.

"We just want to do what's best for the community," said DDA Chairman Steven Kendrick after the group's Thursday meeting.

Reach Erin Zureick at (706) 823-3217 or erin. zureick@augustachronicle.com.

Work on condos goes forward

Downtown Development Authority members also were told that work completing 34 new condos in the White's Building downtown likely will go forward at the beginning of the year.

Miami-based developer CML-GA WD LLC, a subsidiary of Rialto Capital Advisors, is an owner of the 936 Broad St. condo project. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. maintains an equity stake in the project as well.

There were still two floors of condos unfinished in December 2008 when Atlanta-based Haven Trust Bank, which held the building's construction loan, failed. Ground level office space and one floor of condos were finished. The building remains occupied.

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