Officials seek to designate downtown a “slum” | The Augusta Chronicle

6
Sep

Officials seek to designate downtown a “slum” | The Augusta Chronicle

Is downtown Augusta a “slum?”

For the purpose of borrowing money to help fund some of the $40 million in renovations at Augusta Municipal Building, yes it is.

Going for approval Monday by a city committee is the official designation as a “slum area” of 594 downtown acres, bounded roughly by 15th and Reynolds streets, Gordon Highway and Walton Way.

The slum, according to a resolution designating downtown as an “Urban Redevelopment Area,” is fraught with dilapidation, deterioration, vacancy and obsolescence to the point of creating health hazards, encouraging crime and delinquency and increasing infant mortality. It also suffers from isolation – brought on by noise, the riverfront levee, rail lines that bisect historic districts and busy thoroughfares that create “psychological barriers” to growth and expansion, according to the resolution.

Despite some downtown detractors’ long-held assertions now nearly official, District 1 Commissioner Bill Fennoy disagreed. The area, which also includes the new Augusta Convention Center and a handful of incoming restaurants and bars, hasn’t sunk to that level.

via Officials seek to designate downtown a “slum” | The Augusta Chronicle.

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