City approves $850K to fix restrooms at Diamond Lakes Park

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 4:16 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Augusta Commission approved $850,000 in funding to fix the often-closed Diamond Lakes Regional Park restrooms that have been a source of problems for years.

The commission approved spending $500,000 in SPLOST 7 funds and $350,000 in SPLOST 8 money for the work.

The city has already spent $900,000 on fixing the restrooms since 2018.

Interim Director of Central Services Ron Lampkin had said it would take $850,000 to make the repairs, and that’s what he got.

He said there are material inside pipes that includes “loose towels and maybe some epoxy that maybe could’ve potentially come from work that was done before.”

Lampkin said the work should be completed by late April or early May.

Interim City Administrator Takiyah Douse recently had said last week that Universal Plumbing played a part in being paid but not finishing the work it was supposed to do. But Douse and Mayor Garnett Johnson walked back those comments Tuesday.

Also approved Tuesday was $800,000 for permanent Greene Street lighting approved out of American Rescue Plan money. The money was shifted from a large downtown project that’s being introduced next week.

In Other News

Leaders are pushing the conversation forward on mental health in our criminal system.

The “Stepping Up” initiative was passed about a year ago as an effort to not jail those struggling with mental health issues but instead get them the treatment they need.

It’s an effort in partnership with the University of Georgia and the City of Augusta.

It takes people into a process that involves community services, law enforcement, jails, community corrections, and re-entry into society. DeKalb, Chatham, Fulton, and Forsyth counties are doing the same thing. We caught up with District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson, who pushed the plan forward.

“At the end of the day, we have many men and women in our jails who simply don’t need to be there. If that means having the necessary support mental health wise, and so, this is a commitment that the city of Augusta is going to have to make so that we can move forward to making our criminal justice system just a little bit more fair,” he said.

The city is looking to put a workshop together so they can form a committee with the sheriff’s office aimed at tackling this issue.