Originally created 07/15/06

City leaders finish final tour



The Augusta Commission's tour of District 4 on Friday featured a full buffet at Barton Village Community Center, a stop at Diamond Lakes Regional Park and dozens of residential neighborhoods.

Commissioner Keith Brown said there would be a surprise for everyone at the community center where the Weed & Seed program under the direction of Van McMillan operates, but no one expected a feast. That's what Betty Jones, program manager, and her staff of volunteers had cooked up. They also donated it - it didn't cost taxpayers a dime.

After leaving Barton Village, the touring officials continued past the McDuffie Woods Community Center, through the McDuffie Woods neighborhood and on to Deans Bridge Road and Morgan Road, where a road-widening project is under way.

The tour continued to Tobacco Road and through the established Pinnacle Place neighborhood with its well-kept houses and lawns.

"People are proud of their houses here," Mr. Brown said, noting that many of the residents are retired military personnel.

Fairington Subdivision was next, with a drive by Deerchase Elementary School, now under construction, one of two new elementary schools scheduled to open in District 4 this fall.

Walton Hills, Walton Acres, Walton Meadows and Walton Landing subdivisions created from what was once Walton Farms were also on the itinerary.

Abie Ladson, the interim director of the city's Engineering Department, gave overviews of planned road-improvement projects in the district, including the widening of Windsor Spring Road.

After a stop at Diamond Lakes and drives by the new Diamond Lakes Elementary School and through Woodlake and Cambridge subdivisions, the bus headed back downtown.

Commissioner Joe Bowles, who along with Mayor Deke Copenhaver has a 100 percent tour attendance record, said he saw some of the growth and possibility of growth in District 4.

"A lot of land is still so natural and preserved, there's opportunity to expand in the 4th District," he said.

Mr. Copenhaver noted the "many very nice neighborhoods" in the district.

"Obviously, that district - as with every other district - has needs," he said. "So it's just great to go see the good and the bad in these districts. I was surprised to see the number of new homes."

Mayor Pro Tem Marion Williams said he saw the property owners in the district really care about their property.

Absent from the eighth and final tour were commissioners Don Grantham, Betty Beard, Jimmy Smith, Andy Cheek and J.R. Hatney.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.