VA back on Augusta commission's agenda

Freedom’s Path, a housing development for homeless veterans planned in two vacant hospital buildings at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center’s uptown campus, appears to be moving forward.

Two years ago, the proposed development proved contentious when neighbors in nearby Highland Park subdivision opposed a separate entrance to the development from their neighborhood, and the Augusta Commission approved the development as long as it used the main VA entry on Wrightsboro Road.

Craig Taylor, a consultant with Communities for Veterans, which is assisting with the project, has requested that the commission approve a letter of support for a tax credit application for the project in the event the Georgia Department of Community Affairs withdraws its support.

The letter of support goes before an Augusta commission committee today, as does a separate request for a second development at the VA.

Freedom’s Path II hopes to rehabilitate Building 18 at the VA into 28 studio apartments for post-9/11 veterans with physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder, Taylor wrote in a project summary.

The addition would bring the total number of apartments for veterans at the site to 98.

Other items on the agendas of today’s committee meetings, which were rescheduled from Monday because of the holiday, include:

• Further discussion of a proposed contract with Automatic Data Processing

• A $1.14 million contract award of grant funds to Tunnell Spangler-Walsh for implementation of the “priority corridor” portion of the Augusta Sustainable Development Agenda

• Approval of $562,612 in sales tax funds for drainage improvements in east Augusta

• A closed-door discussion with attorneys

• Approval by the city’s pension and audit committee of former external city auditor Cherry, Bekaert & Holland as the city’s new internal auditor, to replace Baird & Company, which city officials said didn’t bid for the work

The meetings begin at 11:50 a.m. in the commission chamber on the eighth floor of Augusta Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.

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