Originally created 08/07/02

Residents want office elsewhere



Augusta Commissioner Andy Cheek was looking for an answer from the residents of Bayvale and Milledgeville roads.

"Given the three sites, if the price was the same, where would you like to see it (a new central office for Augusta's public works and utilities departments) located?" he asked Tuesday night at a community meeting at Bayvale Baptist Church.

As person after person exclaimed "Regency Mall" from a group of 30 in attendance, the answer seemed unanimous.

"Somewhere beside Bayvale Park," said Diane Chami-neak, who lives on Bayvale Road.

Tuesday's meeting involved several city officials and was designed to get public input on the possibility of a major city office being located near Bayvale Park off Milledgeville Road.

Officials are examining three locations for what is described as a campus concept, where people could conduct business with public works and pay their utility bills at the same site. The choices are the Bayvale/Milledgeville site; the former Montgomery Ward building at Regency Mall; and between Sibley and North Leg roads.

Officials said the selection process is in its infancy stage, but they said the Bayvale/Mil-ledgeville roads site is favored because using it would help revitalize south Augusta and could help reopen the now defunct Bayvale Park.

Most residents appeared unimpressed.

"We're worried about the traffic it would bring," said Scharon Spencer.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904.