Can city afford Hyde Park relocation?

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, April 22, 2013

Hyde Park plan

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Some Augusta commissioners are questioning the need to move people out of Hyde Park. This comes just weeks after our story aired where city officials told us two women tried to beat the system.

Commissioner Joe Jackson questions how the city will continue to pay for the move. Other city leaders say money is available and the process should continue.

"I think people should be relocating. They need to do it on their own if it's that unsafe," Jackson said.

The arrests of Belinda Winfrey and Leomie Fielding are making commissioners question the process for the Hyde Park relocation project.

"There's no need to stop any process or progress of anything we're doing so far," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

"I get that, and I will deal with that," Jackson said.

HCD Director Chester Wheeler told commissioners his office has things in place to catch crooks. Residents must provide proof through the courts on all their documentation.

News 12 uncovered a story about how much Belinda Winfrey was accused of receiving to move. A News 12 viewer tipped off authorities that Winfrey has never lived in Hyde Park and owns a house across town.

"We have already allocated or supposedly budgeted money, but we don't have the income to budget for that so," Jackson said.

The city has $4 million from SPLOST funds to continue the move. Wheeler says the total project will cost $8 million.

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