Hyde Park suggestions on agenda

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Augusta commissioners will be asked today to approve refunding 2007 paid property taxes and one-half of 2008 taxes to Hyde Park property owners.

The tax refunds and reductions are among seven recommendations the commission's Hyde Park Subcommittee will propose to the finance committee to assist residents of the subdivision who contend their property has been contaminated by adjacent industries. The estimated cost will be about $25,000.

Other subcommittee recommendations are to:

- Allocate SPLOST funding to improve community infrastructure and soil remediation.

Estimated cost: $2.5 million.

- Authorize start of engineering and design work for the storm drainage system.

- Authorize application for a U.S. Housing and Urban Development loan to provide grants and low-cost loans to homeowners for property developments and improvements.

Estimated cost: $10 million to be repaid in annual installments over 20 years.

- Allocate funds for reopening and operation of the Hyde Park Community Center. The center will fall under the Parks and Recreation Department.

Estimated cost: $85,000

- Allocate funds in the 2009 budget for continued cleanup and demolition of property blight.

Estimated cost: $30,000

- Proceed with Vision Planning and Design Charette planning sessions to engage the community in the start of the revitalization process. Sessions to be conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers and University of Georgia Fanning Institute respectively.

Estimated cost: Sessions are funded by the EPA and the Georgia EPD.

The recommendations are the result of months of meetings between Hyde Park residents and the subcommittee chaired by Commissioner Don Grantham.

Also Monday, the Administrative Services Committee will be asked to approve an affirmative action plan.

The most important element is that it will give the city a way to ensure equal pay for women, said the city's Equal Opportunity Office Director Diana Darris.

"An affirmative action plan allows my office and department heads to have a way to monitor pay issues for all employees to ensure that everyone is being treated and compensated equally in the workplace," Ms. Darris said.

"We're trying to make our workforce a global one that is well-qualified, and we welcome diversity."

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


MORE ON AGENDA


Other issues commissioners will be asked to consider today include:


- Approval of an intergovern-mental memorandum of understanding with the Georgia Board of Regents and the Housing Authority and the transfer of $10 million for the acquisition of Gilbert Manor property, which will be used for expansion of the Medical College of Georgia.


- Approval of $40,198.50 to Studio 3 Design Group, Craig, Gaulden Davis, W.R. Toole Engineers, Michael M. Simpson & Associates and Electrical Design Consultants for design changes to the proposed new main library. R.W. Allen Construction has also requested an increase in the company's $16,287,000 base bid to $16,335,000 materials changes.

Comments (14) Add comment
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No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 09/08/08 - 06:49 am
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Please read the article @

Please read the article @ http://www.wgac.com/index.php?page=19 and decide if you agree that Hyde park has been contaminated and A-RC tax payers need to be 'stiffed' again.

halffull
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halffull 09/08/08 - 06:57 am
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If all of these pieces work

If all of these pieces work will it be the last we hear from this 25-year-old migraine? Or is this a alcohol on a malignant tumor. By passing all of these recommendations are we saying absolutely without a shadow of doubt there is no contamination, that children can play in the dirt or that grandma can plant tomatoes?
If not I say do nothing until we can bring closure to this heartache.

rufus
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rufus 09/08/08 - 07:45 am
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Bulldoze it

Bulldoze it

WhatNow
35
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WhatNow 09/08/08 - 07:50 am
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This is not a tax payer

This is not a tax payer problem. It is the problem of those individuals and businesses in that area. Whatever happened to personal responsibility. If the people of that area were so concerned about their health, why didn't they leave a long time ago. That is what I would have done if things are in fact as the people of that area claim, and I wouldn't expect the government to help me move or reimburse me for something they didn't do. Who is it that is holding them hostage there? I hope the commission does not pass the recommendations. Our county is already struggling enough, without trying to foot the bill for people who don't want to take care of themselves.

MJDW
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MJDW 09/08/08 - 07:51 am
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Another free ride to people

Another free ride to people who take advantage of thier people.

noway
201
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noway 09/08/08 - 08:10 am
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I thought that the EPA

I thought that the EPA already determined that Hyde Park was NOT contaminated? I'm very leary of these actions. Returning their taxes? Give me a break.

Astrea
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Astrea 09/08/08 - 10:11 am
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They should've left a long

They should've left a long time ago and the company that contaminated it should be paying these people with the contingency that they LEAVE if it's so danged contaminated.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 09/08/08 - 10:37 am
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IMO the biggest problem is

IMO the biggest problem is that most people puchased property in Hyde Park as an investment looking for this 'payout' by the Augusta-Richmond County Government. They do not live in Hyde Park as indicated by their mailing address and the fact that the property owners have not claimed a homestead exemption. One person who owns multiple properties lives in Washington, DC. Most of the property owners only pay $40-50 a year in taxes, and many of them are delinquent. Solid waste fees were around $200 a year and are included in the property tax 'bill' which indicates these low tax properties are either vacant lots or someone is beating the system. Look for yourselves - go to http://mapweb.augustaga.gov/augusta/ and do a parcel search, all you have to do is put HYDE PARK in the Subdivision block.

junebug
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junebug 09/08/08 - 11:23 am
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The welfare mentality of

The welfare mentality of Augusta leaders at work. Augusta - The Welfare City.

Little Lamb
49036
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Little Lamb 09/08/08 - 12:28 pm
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One person owns several

One person owns several houses in Hyde Park and he rents them out to people. Landlords should not get the tax relief. Only those with legitimate homestead exemptions should be considered.

Astrea
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Astrea 09/08/08 - 12:44 pm
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Maybe I should move to Hyde

Maybe I should move to Hyde Park for the tax bill alone.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 09/08/08 - 06:23 pm
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Little Lamb: There are many

Little Lamb: There are many people listed as the owner of more than one piece of property in Hyde Park, with some of these owners owning 4 or 5 properties while they are located in places like DC and MA. Less than 25% of the Hyde Park property owners claim homestead exemption, although some of those who claim the exemption either don't live in the Hyde Park property they claim it for or have the homestead exemption on more than one property in Hyde Park. I only had the time or patience to look at the first 30 Hyde Park detailed property records, but about 20% of the property owners have not yet paid their 2007 property tax. From the 80% who have paid their 2007 property tax about 10% paid them late. The government received about $5,000 total in taxes, but over half of the $5,000 collected was not really tax, it was solid waste collection fees. Talk about taking advantage of the situation...........

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 09/08/08 - 06:34 pm
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I'm with rufus... BULLDOZE!!
Unpublished

I'm with rufus... BULLDOZE!!

mojo
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mojo 09/08/08 - 07:50 pm
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wth?

wth?

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 09/08/08 - 09:29 pm
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I'd like to know more about

I'd like to know more about those absentee owners.

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