CADI taken off commission's meeting agenda

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email
Commissioners are deciding what to do about the future of the CADI program. (WRDW-TV)

Commissioners are deciding what to do about the future of the CADI program. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative has been gone for three months, but the fight to bring it back has taken another turn.

It was deleted off the agenda. Some business owners are not upset about it.

"I would like to see CADI go away. It's like a vampire; we need to put a stake in its heart, and I'd like to see it go away," said Mike Walraven, a downtown property owner.

Strong words from a man who fought against bringing the men in green to clean up the streets.

Walraven and his wife own Schweitzer Art Glass. He was against CADI before, and he's against it now.

"We have two taxes already. we have a urban maintenance tax, which is of the old city limits of the City of Augusta. We have a county maintenance tax. This would be a third tax on property owners downtown," Walraven said.

"We feel that we can put it in a petition and there is a legal process, which will bring it before the commission again," said Bob Kudar, CADI board president.

Last week, CADI board members made changes to the $350,000 management deal. The changes are making all businesses pay the same rate for the service and allow more downtown property owners access to the board.

"We don't need the CADI service. As far as the board, it's still nobody like us on the board. Marriott has two members and the Augusta Chronicle has two."

According to the Downtown Development Authority, more than 50 percent of downtown owners are on the board to bring CADI back.

However, Walraven said those numbers just don't add up.

"Some people got 12 votes. Six votes, some got eight votes. When you add up all that, 52 percent of owners are not in favor of this," he said.

One thing is clear: It's going to be a fight to bring back CADI into downtown.

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