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Augusta gets development plan but no assistance

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Although authored by the same John Shields and intended to pick up where the Westobou Vision for downtown Augusta and North Augusta left off, the city's new Sustainable Development Agenda differs from its predecessor.

Most notably, Westobou Vision was commissioned by an outside entity, Augusta Tomorrow, whose members contributed thousands toward their plan's costs and who now serve on implementation teams responsible for pushing the plan's initiatives along.

The Agenda, on the other hand, was commissioned 20 months ago by the city itself, without buy-in from developers or any agency resembling the nonprofit Augusta Tomorrow that might serve to execute the new plan's hundreds of pages of objectives, goals and prototype projects.

"Today, Augusta does not have the in-house capability to oversee execution of this Agenda," said a final draft of the new master plan.

Shields nixes the thought that Augusta's Redevelopment Authority, Downtown Development Authority or Development Authority of Richmond County -- or a city department such as Planning and Zoning or Housing and Community Development -- might be sufficiently staffed, funded and organized to undertake implementation of the plan.

"We're suggesting the establishment of a sister group (to Augusta Tomorrow) for the rest of the city," Shields said. "It would be a new group, but it would be as high-powered a group as we could get."

Clay Boardman, who leads implementation teams for Westobou's Harrisburg and medical village development projects, said having the teams put Westobou ahead of Augusta's earlier master plans.

"The masterful part of the plan is we formed implementation teams, as opposed to the past, when we just put the plan out there and hoped somebody grabbed a part of it," he said.

The second master plan recommends the creation of a fully funded office of implementation, a new organization called Sustainable Augusta, similar to Augusta Tomorrow, in addition to the private sector entity -- Augusta Civic Realty Trust -- to provide front-end financial and development resources.

The Civic Realty Trust might accumulate tracts of land to sell to developers and build up seed money, Shields said.

In his weekly message to constituents, Mayor Deke Copenhaver thanked Shields, Agenda steering committee chairman Terry Elam and others involved in its formulation.

"I firmly believe that the plan can and will be implemented over time and that Augusta will become a model city for our sustainable development efforts," Copenhaver said.

Beyond its estimated $500,000 price tag for drafting, the Agenda calls for more than $1 billion in investment, some 20 to 25 percent of which is public funds.

Commissioner Joe Bowles, last year the sole vote against commissioning the new master plan, said that implemented by Augusta Planning Commission, it could be useful as a measure against which the city could base zoning decisions, but doubted government would finance anything close to $250 million over the next 20 years.

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Brad Owens
4449
Points
Brad Owens 10/17/10 - 06:43 am
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0
Clay Boardman sez, "The

Clay Boardman sez, "The masterful part of the plan is we formed implementation teams, as opposed to the past, when we just put the plan out there and hoped somebody grabbed a part of it,"...

Spoken like a true "Massa." These "Massa" plans are always full to the brim with giverment spending for big-shot developers that are in the certain cabal that comes up with these "Massa" plans.

This is funny, His Worship, The Honorable Mayor, Deke "The Meek" Copenhaver has SPOKEN!!!!

His Worship sez, "I firmly believe that the plan can and will be implemented over time and that Augusta will become a model city for our sustainable development efforts...."

Oh yeah? Where we gonna get the $250,000,000.00 dollars for the public part of this $1,000,000,000.00 "Massa" plan mayor?

He is part of the elite group, the "Massas" of Augusta. That would be the ruling class that get to wirte these Massa plans and get all the giverment cash to make gazillions off of us while 'helping' us out with all these wonderful plans.

Wanna see what I mean? Let me put up my $7,000.00 and see if they allow me to join Augusta Tomorrow...FAT CHANCE! No way they want a working class guy like me on any boards anymore. I am just too much of an "obstructionist"...an "obstacle to progress" as Commissioner Jimmy Smith put it... I guess so.

But then again, I guess it depends on if you are trying to kiss up to the cake eaters and "blue bloods" (fake aristocracy) which I have never done. Infact I see them as the major obstacles to REAL progress. No one ever sees what they are REALLY doing, tying up our taxes and bonds for decades in parts of town they have vested interests at the expense of the entire county's growth.

Funy stuff here, they spent $500,000.00 on this study all while laying off employees and furloughs. No extra cash for the sheriff but half a mil for a stupid study, SURE! Here you go!

Why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going?

Brad

Riverman1
84110
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Riverman1 10/17/10 - 08:38 am
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Y'all thought I was kidding

Y'all thought I was kidding when I said put Deke in charge of the proposed ASDA because he kept complaining he can't do anything under the charter. Well, they are keeping it in the family. All Uncle will do is tell the boy to handle all this when he's not training for his next triathlon.

I say we call every week and ask him what project they are working on. 500,000 one dollar bills can fill a lot of potholes.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 10/17/10 - 09:39 am
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I could put 10 armed security

I could put 10 armed security guards on duty for $500,000.00 a year.

5 by day, 5 by night with a Supervisor.

Brad

corgimom
32599
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corgimom 10/17/10 - 10:15 am
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Quit with the groups, quit

Quit with the groups, quit with the studies, quit with the boondoggle projects!

What is so difficult about that?

Of course, then what would the rich, white crowd that controls Augusta,do? How would they make their millions?

corgimom
32599
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corgimom 10/17/10 - 10:16 am
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"but doubted government would

"but doubted government would finance anything close to $250 million over the next 20 years."

A voice of REASON among insanity!

Brad Owens
4449
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Brad Owens 10/17/10 - 11:05 am
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Joe IS a voice of reason on

Joe IS a voice of reason on this and his vote shows where he stands. It was a huge waste of money.

Like the DDA Trolley study. I tell ya what, next time we want to do a study, I'll take half the money, kick the tax payer in the nads and call it a day. That will at least save 50% while getting the exact same desired affect.

It's the principles involved, and the principalities! Messing with my money is like messing with my emotions.

Corgimom is right, axe all these wastful studies and we would be able to lower the tax rate.

Brad

Mezcal1
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Mezcal1 10/17/10 - 11:20 am
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Finally a sign of progress!

Finally a sign of progress! Remember this is a 20 year plan. Its not perfect but a huge step in the right direction IMO. I'm curious how many critics of the plan actually went to the meetings and took part in the discussions. Hmmm...I wonder....

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 10/17/10 - 01:59 pm
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Brad, I was also glad to see

Brad, I was also glad to see that Joe seemed to be the few voices of reason.. but I just wonder where Joe's fiscal responisbility and reasonable mind was when they were voting on that $100 million plus taxpayer giveaway called the TEE? Heck, Joe didn't even want to listen to all of the evidence that these things do not live up to the artificial hype the CVB was peddling to the commission. I like Joe, but wish he was a bit more consistent.

jb1234
0
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jb1234 10/17/10 - 02:11 pm
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Can the public (like me) view

Can the public (like me) view the plan in it's entirety? Will it be posted online on the city website like the downtown plan? Just curious, I'd like to read it...

CorporalGripweed
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CorporalGripweed 10/17/10 - 02:58 pm
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The Bible says,"Faith without

The Bible says,"Faith without works is dead" I see a whole lot of "faith" in this proposal but not much in the way of "works".

Emerydan
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Emerydan 10/17/10 - 03:44 pm
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Grip: well put!

Grip: well put!

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 10/17/10 - 06:30 pm
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Mezcal, I went to one of the

Mezcal, I went to one of the meetings, at Augusta Tech. It was a group of people moaning about potholes and power lines. I suggested a few things that actually had some free market appeal, and was boo'd by the crowd. It was a long, drawn out money grab. $500k on statist ideas and welfare for real estate companies? Yeah... Not really impressed.

augusta citizen
9355
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augusta citizen 10/17/10 - 09:29 pm
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Well how could any government

Well how could any government finance 250 million in the next 20 years? As for the private investment, where does the line start? Right, there's not one.

mike71345
75
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mike71345 08/06/11 - 06:14 am
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"I tell ya what, next time we

"I tell ya what, next time we want to do a study, I'll take half the money, kick the tax payer in the nads and call it a day."
Brad, all by itself, that ranks as the best Chronicle comment ever.

Little Lamb
46040
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Little Lamb 08/06/11 - 04:00 pm
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Bostonian John Shields’

Bostonian John Shields’ Sustainable Development Agenda “. . . recommends the creation of a fully funded office of implementation, a new organization called Sustainable Augusta, similar to Augusta Tomorrow, in addition to the private sector entity — Augusta Civic Realty Trust — to provide front-end financial and development resources. The Civic Realty Trust might accumulate tracts of land to sell to developers and build up seed money, Shields said.”

Yeah, and pigs might fly, too.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 08/06/11 - 04:35 pm
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mezcal signed up for comments
Unpublished

mezcal signed up for comments just to comment here. the dating seems off though. when i clicked on his name and went to his page, there comments were said to be from almost a year ago. i don't understand how this thing works sometimes. my comments disappear and my photo gets removed. anyway, i wonder who mezcal is as much as mezcal wonders if we went to the meetings. why would we have to go to the meeting to see this is not what we want. mezcal, when's the last time an augusta tomorrow plan made augusta any money. and what's the grand total we've already wasted on their dreams. (i wonder if augusta tomorrow's dreams are anything like the wishes stolen by those two young guys, i mean thugs, who took pennies out of a surrey center fountain.)

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