News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 11, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Iain Crawford doesn't want abandoned houses in his Harrisburg neighborhood.
"It needs to go. We're looking for the bulldozer to come and destroy this one," he said about one house in his neighborhood.
That's why he's glad the Downtown Development Authority wants to add his neighborhood to downtown. He says it could help change Harrisburg for the better.
"Work on the abandoned houses, sidewalks, street lights. We're looking to get historic signs put up," he said.
And he says abandoned houses can also mean trouble, because anyone can just walk right in, and the people who do that include drug dealers, the homeless, and school kids.
Crawford wants some change, and thinks the DDA can bring it.
"These areas are prime for housing, they're gateways that need to be cleaned up," said Executive Director Margaret Woodard.
The new boundaries would expand downtown west to Milledge Road, East to Bobby Jones, and also include Harrisburg and the MCG and Paine College area.
Woodard believes downtown will grow in the coming years, and so the neighborhoods need to be ready for people to move in.
She says once people move in, so will new businesses.
Now the board will go to the commission and try to get the plan approved.
Crawford says he'll be there too, and he has a message.
"It's time you pay attention to the Harrisburg West-End community. So that all of our image is as good and shiny as the downtown image is," he said.