Will Augusta erase the word slum from plans?

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email


"I think there's power in words and we have a tendency in this country to call things there not," said Community Watchdog Al Gray.

Retired consultant and Community Watch Dog Al Gray plans to fight the slum designation of almost 600 acres of Downtown Augusta. Gray will speak with commissioners before the vote.

"I'm against it as it is now formulated. The area and the board that governs it can be scaled back," said Gray.

Commissioners are considering it, because it would give them access to nearly 40 million dollars, that could fund municipal building renovations. Officials in Columbia County did something similar.

"It allows us to work with small businesses and new companies we're recruiting," said Development Authority Director Robert Bennett.

Columbia County Commissioners erased the word slum out of their plans before they were finalized in 2012.

"Our goal was to make sure we put ourselves in the best light while meeting the requirements," said Bennett.

He also credits their Urban Redevelopment Plan with bringing Urban Outfitters and 200 jobs to Columbia County. No word on whether Augusta Commissioners will follow Columbia County's lead.

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