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CADI to be closed down for good

Saturday, July 6, 2013 9:51 PM
Last updated Sunday, July 7, 2013 1:34 AM
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The Clean Augusta Down­town Initiative will hold a final meeting this week to close down the program for good.

“We’re going through one last meeting to finalize everything,” Chairman Bob Kuhar said. “There was a first effort; there was a second effort. That’s enough.”

Administered for five years by Augusta’s Downtown Develop­ment Authority, the program enjoyed varying popularity among downtown residents, visitors and property owners, who paid added property taxes to fund CADI services.

In December, when the Augusta Commission voted against renewing the special tax district, members cited complaints from taxpayers that the extra cleaning and safety services weren’t worth the extra tax, despite efforts to improve the program.

Kuhar, the vice president of properties and facilities for Morris Communications Co., said downtown seems dirtier and less safe without CADI.

“Personally, I think so, but I think it’s got to hit bottom before we ever do anything down there,” he said.

Cristi Hubbard, the senior operations manager for New Moon Cafe on Broad Street, said sidewalk litter, panhandling and other issues aren’t hurting business.

New Moon’s closed storefront served as the backdrop for an April 27 late-night brawl put on YouTube, but Hubbard said the brawl and other incidents seem to have increased police presence downtown, and a deputy is always available when, for instance, a panhandler gets out of hand.

“We just call dispatch and let them know,” she said.

Before the CADI meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, to be held at 931 Broad St., Sheriff Richard Roundtree is scheduled Monday to tell the Augusta Commission’s public safety committee about a new downtown safety plan.

The commission’s public services committee will learn more Monday about the scope, cost and timeline for the Augusta Recreation Depart­­ment’s plan to renovate landscaping, lighting and other features at Riverwalk Augusta.

Commissioner Bill Fennoy, whose District 1 includes downtown, said he hadn’t heard complaints about litter since the CADI program was withdrawn, but he has heard concerns about crime, particularly after the May 3 beating of an Edgefield couple on the riverwalk.

“Whatever the sheriff decides to do to support safety downtown, I’m in favor of,” Fennoy said. “Just off the top of my head, high visibility is needed initially, then you maintain a presence.”

Comments (16) Add comment
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Dixieman
17425
Points
Dixieman 07/06/13 - 08:56 pm
5
2
Huh?

Downtown Augusta is so clean that this program can be abolished?
Gotta recheck my calendar -- is it April 1 again already?

gargoyle
20969
Points
gargoyle 07/06/13 - 09:29 pm
12
1
Next defund the DDA.

Next defund the DDA.

PTDefender
16
Points
PTDefender 07/06/13 - 10:32 pm
7
0
CADI to be closed down for good

So I wonder how much they'll sell those SEGWAYS for???

floridasun
381
Points
floridasun 07/07/13 - 06:57 am
2
6
Well Who Is Going To Keep Downtown Clean?

Tenants in a mall or shopping center pay a common area maintenance fee to keep sidewalks and parking areas clean.
With no CADI program I expect downtown to get dirtier
A clean well kept environment tends to keep trouble makers away

nocnoc
49208
Points
nocnoc 07/07/13 - 07:54 am
10
0
Will there be a full accounting

of the project and where the $$$$$ went and to whom?

Little Lamb
49111
Points
Little Lamb 07/07/13 - 08:46 am
7
1
Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Each storefront owner should keep the little area in front of his store clean. Problem solved, and no government agency is involved (except for Code Enforcement – but first they have to write a code to cover mandatory cleanup of the sidewalk in front of stores).

...point to ponder
779
Points
...point to ponder 07/07/13 - 08:46 am
4
4
Big mistake...

The city can barely get trash picked up timely elsewhere.

Who is responsible in city government for maintaining and cleaning downtown?

jimmymac
47688
Points
jimmymac 07/07/13 - 09:38 am
4
1
CADI
Unpublished

The CBD area is filthy with litter virtually everywhere. If a CADI program existed what have they been doing? Sounds like a way to fleece businesses of some additional cash. Let the store owners clean up for themselves. If they let it stay dirty they'll suffer from lost business. Augusta doesn't deliver any bang for the buck when it's involved.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 07/07/13 - 09:43 am
2
1
Went to dinner downtown last

Went to dinner downtown last night and have to say, it appears to me that the sidewalk areas are filthy, and more so than normal. I'm not sure about all the fuss with CADI but downtown looked horrible yesterday. I agree that each business should be responsible for the area in front of their establishment but what about the areas in front of abandon buildings and vacant businesses.

gargoyle
20969
Points
gargoyle 07/07/13 - 11:38 am
5
0
If a Building is vacant or

If a Building is vacant or abandon it still has a owner. Upkeep responsibility would fall to the owner.

corgimom
38483
Points
corgimom 07/07/13 - 12:57 pm
3
1
Those business owners pay

Those business owners pay taxes and those city sidewalks are the city's responsibility.

Wonder what ol' Margaret is going to do, now that her private slush fund- oh, excuse me, the CADI funding- is gone.

Little Lamb
49111
Points
Little Lamb 07/07/13 - 02:00 pm
1
0
Responsibility

Yeah, technically the ten-foot utility right of way at the street in front of my suburban home is the city's responsibility as well. But it is the responsible thing to do for me to keep it mowed and clean. The downtown property owners/tenants should do the same.

Conservative Man
5578
Points
Conservative Man 07/07/13 - 06:42 pm
3
0
Remember....

...CADI was initially sold to downtown business owners as a security measure with clean-up being secondary. But when it was put into place it became the reverse and was defended as a clean-up initiative with the secondary emphasis being security...
Bottom line....those that were in charge of the "slush fund" created by this extra tax lied in order to get the thing passed, then lied further in an effort to keep it going..
CADI should die. Moreover it should be a lesson to anyone else who tries to put such an asinine program in place in the future....

corgimom
38483
Points
corgimom 07/07/13 - 08:16 pm
1
2
No, LL, an utility easement

No, LL, an utility easement isn't the same as a city sidewalk. The city sidewalks are owned by the city, they aren't easements.

gargoyle
20969
Points
gargoyle 07/07/13 - 10:35 pm
0
0
easement , sidewalk who cares

easement , sidewalk who cares .... keep your front door clean.

Frank I
1204
Points
Frank I 07/08/13 - 12:11 am
2
0
in addition

All of the responsibilities of CADI were to be secondary to the city's existing services.. now that the CADI is no longer (YAY!) the city should get back to doing what it was supposed to be doing in the first place. If it looks filthy, let the commission know how you feel..

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 07/08/13 - 06:48 pm
0
0
Good riddance...

These needs an audit of the tax funds that were spent.

100% accountability on ALL funds passed through the DDA would be a great start.

Brad

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