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Public helped fund 'Extreme Makeover' project

City waived other fees for house renovation featured on TV show

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Volunteers offered their hands for free to build the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house in the Belle Terrace neighborhood last week, but the police officers who worked the site were paid with taxpayer money.

The show's host, Ty Pennington, showed the Graham family its home for the first time last week.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
The show's host, Ty Pennington, showed the Graham family its home for the first time last week.

Col. Gary Powell, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said Monday that four deputies were posted 24 hours per day at the site of the production of the ABC television show. Another officer was required to patrol Regency Mall, where volunteers met to be transported to the site, for about 10 hours every day.

The overtime pay for the officers totaled $12,646.

More officers were required for directing traffic during parties and escorting buses around the city. To minimize costs, Powell said on-duty officers were pulled from their cars to do these jobs which didn't typically last very long.

Augusta's zoning and planning office also worked with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to ensure the house met existing codes and required no variances, Planning Director George Patty said.

Augusta's licensing and inspection department waived the $350 fee for a building permit, a $32 demolition fee and approximately $2,180 in fees for various electrical, mechanical and plumbing inspections, director Rob Sherman said.

Mark Johnson, Augusta's solid waste director, said the city also waived landfill fees for all demolition and construction waste and the TV crew's trash, but he didn't know the exact amount waived late Monday.

Augusta Utilities also provided a new sewer tap for the house at no charge, Director Tom Wiedmeier said. The tap fees typically run $750.

The city of Savannah, which experienced an Extreme Makeover earlier this fall, provided almost $26,000 in taxpayer-funded services, according to The Savannah Morning News .

The newspaper reported that most of the costs to Savannah came from overtime pay for police officers.

City of Savannah spokesman Bret Bell said the decision to cooperate with the show was made to help the family and to help publicize the city to the show's 10 million viewers.

Comments (93)

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charliemanson
1
Points
charliemanson 12/13/10 - 05:14 pm
0
0

Worth the money just for the

Worth the money just for the publicity that Augusta will get in return from having the show here.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 12/13/10 - 05:17 pm
0
0

LOL...ain't nothing

LOL...ain't nothing free............

kmb413
529
Points
kmb413 12/13/10 - 05:22 pm
0
0

next comes the property tax

next comes the property tax bill. I am sure Augusta is out there appraising her new home now.

marie21
5
Points
marie21 12/13/10 - 05:34 pm
0
0

I don't mind paying more tax

I don't mind paying more tax money for our police force.

vls214
2
Points
vls214 12/13/10 - 05:35 pm
0
0

And teacher & other workers

And teacher & other workers are being furloughed just to advertise the ghetto. I don't get it.

blakkone
43
Points
blakkone 12/13/10 - 05:37 pm
0
0

$12,000 is the only cost to

$12,000 is the only cost to advertise Augusta as a product to 10 million consumers on a national TV show? That ain't too bad if you ask me. Heck, how much is spent on RCPD enforcement during masters week? Way more than $12k.

If we want our city to grow and expand and bring more tourists, businesses, residents, etc. in we have to spend a little.

dani
12
Points
dani 12/13/10 - 05:39 pm
0
0

And this will help the city

And this will help the city how? Just because someone built a house...

JesusSaves
0
Points
JesusSaves 12/13/10 - 05:44 pm
0
0

Consider the money that was

Consider the money that was brought into the city for this project.

slickrayder
33
Points
slickrayder 12/13/10 - 05:46 pm
0
0

city employees just got

city employees just got furloughed for 2 days,,,,and here we are paying almost 13,000 in overtime for a home make over,,,,,wrong answer. and 5 more furloughs next yr ,,,,,what does that say about our goverment,,,,,,lol

USNAVYVET
0
Points
USNAVYVET 12/13/10 - 05:49 pm
0
0

EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER - is it

EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER - is it not for the volunteer's and the company's that donate their employee time and products as well. What are the town's that these gifts of a house going to do - charge all the extra fee's to the new homeowners?

nofrills
0
Points
nofrills 12/13/10 - 06:06 pm
0
0

And just what will publicity

And just what will publicity get Augusta in return from having the show here. I know a huge $12000.00 bill. The show gets rating and one family gets a home. Seems to me that taxpayer money shouldnt be used for this and the network should have to foot the bill. I am happy for the family but you could of helped 50 familes for what was put in this one house. not smart money...

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 12/13/10 - 06:15 pm
0
0

Sort of a damned if you do

Sort of a damned if you do damned if you don't scenerio........agreed a lot of folks could have been helped with what was spent on this "silk purse in a sows ear location".

Gaangel
0
Points
Gaangel 12/13/10 - 06:42 pm
0
0

no comment im frozen to the

no comment im frozen to the bone

Ushouldnthave
0
Points
Ushouldnthave 12/13/10 - 07:16 pm
0
0

How much does ABC make from

How much does ABC make from advertising during this show? They should be the ones footing the bill.

dreamcatcher_ga
4
Points
dreamcatcher_ga 12/13/10 - 07:17 pm
0
0

A few of you are mentioning

A few of you are mentioning the publicity this show will give Augusta. Just what do you think people are going to run to this city and see? At least Savannah has a lot to offer visitors ~~ which by the way already numbers in the several hundred thousands per year. Other than the Masters what draw does Augusta really offer?

Ole School
0
Points
Ole School 12/13/10 - 07:22 pm
0
0

LET SEE DRAWN TO AUGUSTA ?

LET SEE DRAWN TO AUGUSTA ? ..... FLIES ?

overburdened_taxpayer
113
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 12/13/10 - 07:34 pm
0
0

The show makes millions. They

The show makes millions. They should pay for the police officers as the cost of doing business. Then they could write it off as an expense just like any other business would do. Why should the taxpayers subsidize ABC?

MistaChuckD
0
Points
MistaChuckD 12/13/10 - 07:38 pm
0
0

@ Dani I'm with you. This

@ Dani

I'm with you. This helped the city how? Tell me again how many corporate movers and shakers watch this show?

@JesusSaves

How much money was brought in?

@Nofrills

I agree totally.

@Ushouldnthave

EXACTLY!!! I was at their pep rally. They bring cameras and whoever the host is that women seem to adore. Everything else comes from donations and people putting in free labor. Oh yeah, I forgot about the free police.

I wonder how many deputies were given the opportunity to get some of that $12,646? I bet it was only a chosen few. Furloughs for everyone. Help for the chosen few.

Augusta...You gotta love it!

showboat
264
Points
showboat 12/13/10 - 07:55 pm
0
0

VLS214 this isn't the ghetto,

Unpublished

VLS214 this isn't the ghetto, here you go with the race card. Think before you speak, where do you live!!!!!!!!Columbia county and work in Augusta?

tmyboy6988
0
Points
tmyboy6988 12/13/10 - 08:30 pm
0
0

Why do people feel that its

Why do people feel that its necessary to complain no matter how good something is. If they had received the house they wouldn't be complaining. The city spend a lot more money on security during master week but you don't see an article written about that.

MistaChuckD
0
Points
MistaChuckD 12/13/10 - 08:36 pm
0
0

Why do you, tmyboy6988, feel

Why do you, tmyboy6988, feel the need to complain when others voice their opinion?

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 12/13/10 - 08:38 pm
0
0

It's like everything else.

It's like everything else. This show is not a charity. ABC makes money from this show. They bring in pretty boy Ty, and boy he should go into acting, because he has certianly learned how to turn on the tears at a moment's notice. Let's see, the city of Augusta lost a little over $3000 in the licensing and inspections and Utilities department, not counting the man hours to inspect the work, and the man hours to hook up a new sewer tap. Plus the 12,646 to pay the cops. you are probably looking at somewhere around $18,000 or more. That's not counting the cost to Bill Beazley homes, or the other contractors who donated their time. And for the most part they will never get mentioned when the show airs.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 12/13/10 - 08:40 pm
0
0

tmyboy1968, the Master's Golf

tmyboy1968, the Master's Golf Tournament actually makes money for Augusta. It is not run under the guise of doing something for the needy.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 12/13/10 - 08:45 pm
0
0

If you think about this in

If you think about this in the proper perspective, this woman did nothing more than win a lottery. She was chosen among several other candidates from what I understand. And I agree with nofrills, for the money and time spent on this house, a lot of deserving families in the Augusta area could be helped.

Dudeness
1511
Points
Dudeness 12/13/10 - 09:13 pm
0
0

I don't really see how this

I don't really see how this show helps the city since from my recollection, the show does not showcase the city where the house is being built one bit. The cameras are always on the house being built or on the family. It's not like they tour the city or anything. The show could be held in the same city every week and we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. What a waste of more money...

sjsd17
9
Points
sjsd17 12/13/10 - 09:19 pm
0
0

Hey...the Fire Department

Hey...the Fire Department paid 2 EMT/Paramedics to work 24 hours around the clock also...add that to the RCSO's overtime and it's quite a bit more. They were stationed in an ambulance/rescue truck and it sat there idling the whole time!!!!! FUEL costs add even more..........

But they're getting back some of it...they will still get 3.5% of all overtime paid just like the regular paychecks!!!!

rdbike
47
Points
rdbike 12/13/10 - 09:31 pm
0
0

Why is the network and the

Why is the network and the show not paying for the security? Why should the taxpayers have to bear the burden of paying when the payout seems to benefit one family? Where are these funds coming from when you already are furloughing law enforcement? I think a bill needs to be sent to ABC and Extreme Makeover for these costs. If that's the case I want round the clock security at my house and I'm sure that several thousand others would like the same...What is good for one must be made available for all.

Boo-Hoo
0
Points
Boo-Hoo 12/13/10 - 09:49 pm
0
0

These people come to town,

These people come to town, make millions and stick us with these cost...send them a bill!!!

leann1638
0
Points
leann1638 12/13/10 - 10:03 pm
0
0

I know that I went out there

I know that I went out there and VOLUNTEERED my time. I also know that all the other professionals on the worksite (plumbers, electricians, painters, landscapers) all did the same. Why couldn't the officers, out of the goodness of their hearts do the same. Do they have to be getting paid to actually "do" their job? I just think that the whole theme of extreme makeover is voluteering. Giving withoug getting in return. That should have been part of the sign up, volunteer officer duty. As a nurse, I give care at times with getting paid or even thanks and would have been more than willing to do that for this event as well.

jmckee226
0
Points
jmckee226 12/13/10 - 10:20 pm
0
0

12k to advertise the

12k to advertise the ghetto?!? and why would we want more residents? we have enough as it is... this city has grown into a mess.. whatever

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