March 15, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Neighbors living in south Augusta are saying no to plans for a new development.
Tonight they made sure their voices were heard at a meeting with the Augusta Housing Authority and the developer at the Henry Brigham Community Center.
It was a packed house, standing room only. Dozens of south Augusta residents expressed their distaste and intense disapproval at the idea of building "mixed income" housing near their neighborhoods.
Most residents and almost all of the community's elected officials are against the idea. They say they've been in the dark about the project right from the beginning.
"I didn't get a phone call, I didn't get anything," said resident Dr. Jacqueline Williams, MD. "All I got was a letter in my mailbox."
"We don't know nothing," said Kay Norton. "Last night news, we watch Channel 12, they say, 'Oh! We gonna go there.'"
Members of the Housing Authority and the developer were present to try and calm the fears about property values and other issues. Many of the residents, however, were just not buying it.
"It's going down!" said Pheolian Evans III. "Property values going down!"
"I understand they're saying that public housing isn't what it used to be, but the crime element is still there, whether they want to believe it or not," Dr. Williams said. "What benefit is it to our community that's already established? There is none.
"You cannot do people like that and just expect them to just lay down and take it," resident Asia Adams said. "Because we're not going to take it."
"I feel like this is a done deal," said resident Doris Keith. "It's going to go through regardless. We just got to make sure that they stick to their plans."