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CADI donating leftover money, equipment to two charities

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The termination Thursday of the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative was bittersweet for its board members, but two charities will benefit from the remaining money and equipment.

Established in 2007, the program was developed to provide supplemental housekeeping and visitor services within the boundaries of a special downtown tax district, but the Augusta Commission declined to renew the district last year after it lost support from property owners.

The initiative’s board of directors voted Thursday to set aside $10,000 from the district’s $37,000 in leftover funding for legal services, to hire an accountant to review its books and to repair two Segways with dead batteries.

Under Georgia law, the remaining assets must be turned over either to another 501(c)(3) or the government, said board Chairman Bob Kuhar.

The initiative, which took out a line of credit in 2008 in anticipation of tax collections, has no outstanding liabilities, board member Davenport “Dee” Bruker said.

From the remaining money, the board voted to give $12,000 to Trees for Augusta Inc., a nonprofit that has planted ginkgos along Henry Street, Fleming Avenue and Battle Row.

The board also voted to give Trees for Augusta the initiative’s remaining equipment, including a Green Machine sidewalk sweeper and landscaping tools. A pickup truck belonged to Service Group International, which provided the downtown initiative workers, and wasn’t a part of the donation, Kuhar said.

The board voted to donate the remaining $15,000 and anything left after expenses to the Community Foundation of the CSRA’s Garden City Improvement Fund for use downtown.

Guided by businessman Barry Storey, the foundation’s Garden City Improvement Fund has landscaped and maintained medians along Bobby Jones Expressway, Alexander Drive and St. Sebastian Way, said Barry White, the director of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau and a foundation director.

Bruker and board member Natalie McLeod expressed regret at seeing the program officially end.

“To me, it was working. I see (downtown) now and it looks horrible,” Bruker said.

A recent push to address crime, cleanliness, broken infrastructure and other issues such as parking, however, gave Kuhar, who is also the vice president of facilities for Morris Communications Co., hope that change was in the works. Recently, commissioners toured Riverwalk Augusta and asked Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities to develop a plan to address issues such as broken lighting and overgrown landscaping after two tourists were brutally beaten there in May.

“I’ve heard more talk about all those things in the last three months,” Kuhar said. “Maybe it will all coagulate into one big movement.”

The board members questioned the level of support that Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree and City Administrator Fred Russell will have for their recent proposal to establish a new tax district to fund added law enforcement downtown. The district would require the approval of property owners. Roundtree said the supplemental law enforcement would not replace the three deputies now assigned to the area.

The board voted to donate the two repaired Segways and bicycles formerly used by the program’s staffers to the sheriff’s office, with the stipulation they be used downtown.

Comments (11) Add comment
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corgimom
28289
Points
corgimom 07/11/13 - 04:23 pm
9
2
“To me, it was working. I see

“To me, it was working. I see (downtown) now and it looks horrible,” Bruker said.

So contact Fred Russell and tell him to get Public Works out there and clean it up!

Frank I
1158
Points
Frank I 07/11/13 - 04:43 pm
10
1
becaaauuuse

CADI was only supposed to AUGMENT Public Works.. it wasn't supposed to take over the job completely. In fact, CADI was sold as providing additional security FIRST and cleanup second. It did neither.

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 07/11/13 - 06:16 pm
10
2
'Scuse me, folks

... but isn't that TAX money? I know they will just waste it on another study, but shouldn't it revert to the city or at least the businesses paying the taxes instead of playing Santa?

Frank I
1158
Points
Frank I 07/12/13 - 12:15 am
5
0
imho

I think it should be given back to the businesses that paid their tax.. at the very least in the form of a tax credit on the other TWO taxes those in the downtown area pay...

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 07/12/13 - 07:58 am
1
0
Local group " Mindless Behavior" will perform as scheduled.
Unpublished

Local group " Mindless Behavior" will perform as scheduled.

Brad Owens
4110
Points
Brad Owens 07/12/13 - 08:29 am
7
1
This IS tax money but it has passed to CADI

The tax was collected by the county on the properties inside the Business Improvement District (BID) area then given to the DDA who hired the CADI Company to do the work. So YES it IS tax money but it has already been given to the CADI Company and so it will not be returned.

The fact the board didn't even consider giving the tax money back to the county shows the disdain they have for the taxpayer.

...point to ponder
714
Points
...point to ponder 07/12/13 - 10:16 am
2
0
... Recent walking tour....

It took someone getting beaten to get the commissioners to "tour" an area that has been poorly maintained for years!

The commissioners obviously aren't current on conditions in their own central business district.

The commission builds a convention center but has no knowledge of the condition of the surrounding area! ....this is not good!

I believe someone needs to be a responsible party... say, an Administrator, and start paying attention to all the spokes of the wheel. Folks wonder, or they know, why our city looks the way it does...."no one entity accepts responsibility and the commission does not have a clue!"... until or after tragedy strikes!

Our current tax dollars should be working for us everyday in the central business district. Now if only someone will get the job done!

Conservative Man
5305
Points
Conservative Man 07/12/13 - 10:38 am
2
0
Well we know who has been

Well we know who has been buying property along Battle Row. This is one screwed up city.

mike1sc
197
Points
mike1sc 07/12/13 - 10:49 am
3
1
Tax Dollars

As to the comment concerning returning the surplus funds, the group is following guidelines previously approved as to what process would be used when the CADI was abolished. Concerning the comment about paying attention to all the spokes of the wheel, it is very normal in all facets of life that the squeaky wheel (or spoke in your example) always is the one which gets the grease.

On a very unrelated issue, I have been watching with quite a bit of interest how ESPN is about to change their very volatile blog system, where inappropriate, aggressive comments are routinely made by posters who are not identified except by a username. In mid July, ESPN will revert their blog to Facebook, where the days of slinging mud without any fear of retaliation.....will be over. As newspapers across the country have been faced with trying to police inappropriate comments, it appears ESPN, which their blogs have a little over 2.5 million members, has decided it is time to stop the inappropriate comments by making the posters public. I'm all for it!

GnipGnop
11543
Points
GnipGnop 07/12/13 - 11:07 am
3
0
First of all....

Any tax collected for a specific purpose and not used for that purpose should be returned to those that paid...that should be a law. That is taxation without representation. Secondly, how many fake facebook accounts do you think there are out there? Those that wish to remain hidden will do so or quit posting.

Little Lamb
43978
Points
Little Lamb 07/12/13 - 12:20 pm
2
0
Stipulation

From the story:

The board voted to donate the two repaired Segways and bicycles formerly used by the program’s staffers to the sheriff’s office, with the stipulation they be used downtown.

Well, this now-defunct board of directors can stipulate all they want, but the sheriff has more discretionary power in his little finger than this board ever had or will have. He can do with the Segways what he wants.

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 07/12/13 - 03:47 pm
4
1
">>> (T)he board didn't even consider giving the tax money back

... to the county shows the disdain they have for the taxpayer."

Maybe they account for the two thumbs-down I got for my impertinent suggestion.

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