Commissioner Lockett fights for beautification project

News 12 @ 11 o'clock / Sunday, August 10, 2014

Augusta Commission - Augusta seal with skyline

(WRDW) --

Gordon Highway might be getting a makeover. Monday Augusta Commissioners will talk about taking on a beautification project along the road, and checking into progress at the Regency Mall. Commissioner Bill Lockett requested these topics be addressed in Monday's committee meeting. He says the area needs help, and the way it looks is affecting the whole city.

Commissioner Lockett told News 12 changes have to be made in the area, and with Cyber Command coming, they need to happen now. Neighbors who live in the area say change can't come soon enough.

Fei Li's house is almost directly across the street from the Regency Mall. "I keep looking over there. I saw before there was a lot of graffiti and people had to clean it up," Li said.

He's lived across the street from the mall for over a decade, and he's ready to see some progress. "It will be really nice to see it open up again and be something better for the neighborhood," he said.

Something Commissioner Bill Lockett is working towards. He said it's time to crack down on vacant lots, overgrown lawns, and 'beautifying' the area. They hope that by cleaning up the area it will be the key to unlocking more opportunity

That's what Lockett is fighting for. He wants code enforcement to ramp up patrols, and says with Cyber Command coming, it's more important now than ever to make this an area people want to move to.

Li hopes the first step is the mall. "As long as the plot is actually being used for something useful, making Augusta better and bigger," he said.

He says it would make a huge impact for all the new people coming in and the people who already call South Augusta home. "The neighborhood would be better and then the shops like Cherokee Plaza on Gordon Highway will be better and it will be like a chain effect, more jobs more revenue, it just would make everything better," Li said.

Commissioner Lockett says he expects the biggest pull against the plans will be because of funding. But he told News 12, the money is already there, it's just a matter of how the dollars are spent.

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