Riverkeeper to raise money to develop riverfront property

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 6:48 PM
Last updated 8:51 PM
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Savannah Riverkeeper will launch a $2 million capital campaign to finance remodeled offices, an education center and kayak facilities on riverfront land leased this week from the city of Augusta.

The 13.9-acre parcel on Prep Phillips Drive, about a mile downstream from the advocacy group’s current office near the Boathouse, includes an empty steel building once used as the city’s traffic engineering shop.

The lease, approved Tuesday by the Augusta Commission, allows the group to use the site for 100 years for $1 a year, with provisions that include keeping the area public.

One of the first projects will be the creation of a kayak trail to allow paddlers access to the nearby Savannah River. That amenity could open as early as this fall, Savannah Riverkeeper Ton­ya Bonitatibus said.

The more complex projects include cleaning up the area, which is littered with metal and old car parts.

The city and Riverkeeper are working together to apply for a federal Brownfields grant that could provide funds and other resources for any needed cleanup, she said.

“We’re interested in applying for what they call a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant,” she said. Such programs are designed to encourage projects that could in turn spur new development in surrounding areas.

Remodeling the building and designing an education center would likely take two years or more, she said.

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countyman
21303
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countyman 06/05/13 - 06:41 pm
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7
Excellent!!!!

I love the new progressive city of Augusta.. I think we understand why so many people are coming here for ideas, and more will come in the future.

GnipGnop
12692
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GnipGnop 06/05/13 - 06:59 pm
8
4
Why?

Why wasn't this riverfront property sold for a profit and used to fund some of the pork that tax payers were shafted into paying?

countyman
21303
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countyman 06/05/13 - 07:29 pm
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East Augusta

The entire property needs environmental work, and the property was included in the recent auction.

Where is the private developer with the big plans?

Dixieman
16595
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Dixieman 06/05/13 - 09:04 pm
11
3
Don't give them a penny more

This is an ultra left-wing job-killing litigation factory disguised as an environmental group (watermelon: green on outside, red on inside). Why were they given a sweetheart $1 per year 100 year lease? They should have been charged a market rent then had to raise their own funds to pay it. Instead, they have been given MY TAX MONEY by the ARC Commission to sponsor activities I disagree with! What a ripoff. Ask them how much of their budget goes to litigation like opposing Plant Vogtle and the Savannah port dredging. I am disgusted.

When is the Chronicle going to do some real investigative reporting about who these people are, what their agenda is, and where their money goes instead of just uncritically reprinting their press releases? This has been going on for years....

GnipGnop
12692
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GnipGnop 06/05/13 - 09:02 pm
7
3
Me too Dixie

another example of the giverment at work....

gargoyle
19585
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gargoyle 06/05/13 - 09:03 pm
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4
You nailed it Dixieman,they

You nailed it Dixieman,they are well on their way to becoming a invitation only litigation club funded on the taxpayer backs.First order of business after given land is to get a grant to fix up the club diggs gives a good indication of how they want it to work.

ragingbull
945
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ragingbull 06/05/13 - 09:51 pm
8
2
Why didn't they try to pass

Why didn't they try to pass it off to GRU? I am sure that Azziz would like another property.

Old Augusta
324
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Old Augusta 06/05/13 - 10:07 pm
6
3
Everything Dixieman says is true

What a crock. This group has no business leasing 1/4 acre from the city. This group is part of a lawsuit against dredging the Savannah River. The funny thing about this lawsuit is the fact the state of South Carolina is backing them and the real agenda is that Charleston is a couple years behind Savannah on their own dredging. These same folks at the river keeper as well as the folks in SC don't give a rats behind about the dredging that's going on in Charleston. The port in Savannah will play a much bigger role in Augusta's future as a logistic hub, especially when they finally build an interstate that connects the two cities. Any group that is trying to stymie our economic future is no friend to the city of Augusta.

angedelune
238
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angedelune 06/06/13 - 06:36 am
4
8
really?

someone tries to do some good with an area of the river and all you people have to post is something negative... actually come to think of it MOST of the stuff you people is negative. You spend more time tearing down others and their ideas than you do supporting anything worthwhile

Why don't you spend more time supporting and growing what you love rather than tearing down and belittling things you hate/don't agree with.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 06/06/13 - 07:25 am
5
0
My gripe is that when an

My gripe is that when an individual submits a proposal for funding in the way of a SBA loan, it is scrutinized to the nth degree and more often than not, rejected due to such a stringent set of requirements and parameters. And that is just a small percentage compared to what is being saught via the Brownfields grant. I'm not railing against the development itself, just pointing out the inconsistency and the point that if you are aligned to use tax-revenue in the form of grants, you have a better chance at getting MORE funding for your operation than an individual trying to get a leg up by borrowing. The truth is, you'd be very lucky indeed to get any money in the form of a SBA b/c the requirements are set in a way that if you qualify, you probably qualify for a commercial type loan and would have more options anyway. Que Sera!

bigj706
1297
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bigj706 06/06/13 - 05:05 pm
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4
You tell em angedelune the

You tell em angedelune the most crybabies and complainers Ive ever seen if they use that same energy to improve something maybe Augusta wouldn't be half bad!!!!!!!!!!

KSL
140441
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KSL 06/06/13 - 06:31 pm
1
2
Well, those riverkeeper

Well, those riverkeeper groups cost taxpayers tons of money when it comes to new schools and add-ons.

KSL
140441
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KSL 06/06/13 - 06:38 pm
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3
The Federal gov. is broke.

The Federal gov. is broke. They have no business granting money to a group who could raise funds from locals conerned about the river, or get volunteers.

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