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Clean Augusta not dead; ends ties with DDA

Monday, March 4, 2013 7:16 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 5, 2013 1:01 AM
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The board of directors that governs the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative has severed ties with the Downtown Development Authority and authority Executive Director Margaret Woodard to improve the chances a new downtown service district has of succeeding.

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Jere Iacobucci, center, of the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative, also known as CADI, clears leaves from the 600 block of Broad Street on Monday, December 10, 2012.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Jere Iacobucci, center, of the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative, also known as CADI, clears leaves from the 600 block of Broad Street on Monday, December 10, 2012.

“We just all decided that if the CADI was going to get new life it would probably be better if it were on its own,” said Robert J. Kuhar, the vice president over properties and facilities for Morris Communications Co. and chairman of the Clean Augusta board.

For the past five years, the downtown authority has administered the board’s contract with Service Group Inc., which supplied about eight downtown service workers known as “CADIs” and a manager.

In December, however, the Augusta Commission didn’t renew a special tax district, despite the presentation of supporting signatures that Woodard said represented half the property owners in the district.

From the start, the tax district had its critics, but in recent years downtown property owners became increasingly divided on the merits of paying extra property taxes to fund the cleanup and ambassador-type services provided by Clean Augusta. After six people were shot at July’s First Friday event, some called for Clean Augusta to serve more of a public safety role, but authority officials said that was cost-prohibitive under its annual budget of nearly $400,000.

More recently, two of the district’s largest property owners, Morris Communications, which owns The Augusta Chronicle, and businessman Julian Osbon expressed doubts about the program; in December, Morris withdrew its four supporting votes.

Since terminating the relationship with the authority Feb. 22, the Clean Augusta board hopes “to go back to the commission to get the CADI program reinstated,” Kuhar said in an e-mail Monday.

The city has stepped up its sanitation efforts downtown since the CADIs lost their jobs, but “I think you can definitely see a decrease in the cleanliness downtown,” City Administrator Fred Russell said.

The expired district’s boundaries can’t be changed, and reviving the program means starting a new application under state laws to create a new district, said the city’s general counsel, Andrew MacKenzie.

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Brad Owens
4098
Points
Brad Owens 03/05/13 - 02:17 am
4
1
Augusta needs a new name...

Zombie-town might do, because we cannot seem to keep bad ideas that waste tax payer dollars dead here...skywalk anyone?

And no one should be fooled by the "severing" of ties with the DDA either.

soapy_725
43553
Points
soapy_725 03/05/13 - 08:51 am
1
0
One picture says a thousand words.
Unpublished

A leap blower behind a broom making and moving piles of debris. Bets are that the leaves are on their way to next storm drain access.

Government don't do efficient. Government don't do cost effective.

If ARC would ever use one "best practice" or one "benchmark" from successful municipalities it would be a Prayer Breakfast Miracle.

The second largest city in the largest state east of the Mississippi and it does not have a single street sweeper that runs at night. When do large cities, cities with crowded streets, do their cleanup. At night? No, that would means overtime because in ARC we cannot schedule worker shifts from 6pm to 6am.

And those lovely trees along the sidewalks of Broad St. How lovely are the leaves that find their way into every doorways and alley. And even into the businesses themselves.

corgimom
27745
Points
corgimom 03/05/13 - 09:44 am
1
0
You know what? How is it that

You know what? How is it that other cities can keep their downtown clean, but this seems to be a never-ending problem for Augusta?

This isn't brain surgery! This isn't rocket science! It doesn't need special programs, special this, special that, how did cities manage for the last 400 years to keep their downtowns clean?

For corn's sake, you want more public safety? HIRE MORE POLICE OFFICERS. You want a cleaner downtown? HIRE MORE SANITATION WORKERS.

That's it, that's the list! All this Huey, Dewey, and Louie, alphabet groups, money here, money there, he said, she said, special this, special that, this tax, that tax, everywhere a tax, tax- THIS IS NOT HARD TO SOLVE, but Augusta leaders make it that way!

Little Lamb
43821
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/13 - 10:08 am
2
0
Clean Augusta

It surely is confusing. The city cancelled the special tax on businesses downtown, yet this organization called Clean Augusta is still functioning with no incoming funds. They've got a board of directors, yet no funds? Well, the Clean Augusta board of directors hopes to get funding from the city general fund instead of from the special tax on businesses in the downtown district. That's cozy, isn't it? Surely, our commission can see through that ruse — but maybe not.

Corgimom hit on some novel ideas. Here is another — brighten the corner where you are. If you own a business downtown, clean up around your business. If you have a residence downtown, clean up around your residence. That's what we do out in the suburbs and in the country.

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