The Garden City is truly a beautiful, friendly place to live. However, the southern section of Augusta has such a bad reputation that it's difficult to draw big business or even get infrastructure improvements that are drastically needed.
My husband and I live in south Augusta, but have to travel 30 minutes or more to get to a hardware store, as well as other types of shopping. We knew this when we moved in. Now, south Augusta is growing by leaps and bounds. New schools and low-cost housing developments are sprouting up everywhere.
There are still law-enforcement officers directing traffic daily at both schools on Old Waynesboro Road, because there was no plan for road-widening improvements to handle the additional traffic.
We, as a community, together with the city's leaders, have got to make it a priority to change the "low-rent" stigma of south Augusta, so that we can attract more businesses to handle this growing section of town.
The first thing that needs doing is a major overhaul of the water system. It's old, breaks down frequently, and surely can't keep up with the continuing growth. It's odd to be without water when the Savannah River is so close.
Many high wage-earners from the large plants in south Augusta choose to live elsewhere. We are losing the new Winn-Dixie. There has been a "Smile Station coming soon" sign at the intersection of Tobacco Road and Highway 56 for a very long time, but no sign of construction. No one has ventured to put any businesses in the vacant area around the new Food Lion on Highway 56.
I call upon our community leaders to help fix this problem and quit feeding into the terrible stigma. Beautify and encourage more growth in our direction.
Lorna Barrett, Augusta