Augusta HCD wants $2.5M taxpayer loan

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

Housing and Community Development leaders are asking you the tax-payer for a loan. They're asking Commissioners for a $2.5 million loan.

They want to use your money to continue renovating the Laney Walker Bethlehem area. They've already spent millions. Some Augusta Commissioners have problems with the way they've used the funds.

"The loan is coming from the taxpayer's dollars. So you're playing with people's money," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

Augusta Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle is talking about a $2.5 million dollar loan some say the city needs to complete revitalization efforts in the Laney Walker neighborhood.

"We need a for real guarantee that we will get a $2.5 million dollar return. I want that," said Commissioner Guilfoyle.

"You can't tell people you want to turn a place around when you're not personally invested," said Homeowner Fredrick Neely.

At 24-years-old, Neely is the youngest homeowner on this block. He bought this duplex from the city back in 2008. Neely wishes commissioners should invest more in the project.

"The houses that were built are pretty much gone. They need that money to be able to build that house," said Neely.

So far Housing and Community Development spent over $8 million dollars to buy more than 200 lots, tear down more than 90 homes and build 34 new ones. Mayor Copenhaver says the gap in funding could stop the progress.

"It would slow down our revitalization efforts but I'm really hopefully that we will build consensus around this issue," said Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

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