Augusta spends millions more on storm clean up

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News12 First at Five/ March 19, 2014

Augusta, Ga (WRDW)-----More work is needed to bring Augusta back to it's garden city title and it's going to cost some big bucks.

The city is under deadline to get the ice storm debris off the streets before tens of thousands of golf patrons arrive for masters week.
Some Augusta commissioners are worried the city won't be up to par during masters week.

"We are looking to be substantially completed," said Interim Deputy Administrator Steve Cassle.

"I don't think so. I think it's a long shot to say things are going to be done by Masters Week," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

The city right of ways are just as full as the fair grounds for storm debris.

"I just hung up on a caller who is asking when are they going to come out and clean that area. It's hazardous to some people because, they can't really move and be mobile in their yards," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

"Some of them want reassurance that it's going to get done," said Commissioner Grady Smith.

Augusta commissioners voted recently to increase the contract from $8 million to $11 million to two disaster clean up companies Ashbritt and Leidos. They originally planned for 250 thousand cubic yards and now that number has more than doubled.

"After reassessing it, they see that it's more to it than they thought," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

"I'm a little disappointed right now that we have not be able to pick up as quickly as we need to and get everything weighed and documented," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Rob Ray with Ashbritt says the rainy weather is to blame. Ray also tells News12 the city has added parks, cemeteries and The Patch to the to do list since the ice storm.
Gated subdivisions are also on that list meaning clean up crews are now responsible for picking up debris all over the county.

The last thing for the cleanup crews will be cleaning up are staging grounds at the Fairgrounds and the city land field. After that's done, they'll be leaving town for good.

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