Property owners disagree over future of CADI program - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Property owners disagree over future of CADI program

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Clearing the sidewalks and streets of leaves - that's what a December day looks like for people employed by the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative or CADI.

But the program which has cleaned up trash on the streets for five years could be headed for the dumpster soon.

"We need about 40 more signatures," said the Director for the Downtown Development Authority, Margaret Woodard.

To keep CADI on the streets, the DDA needs 110 signatures from property owners and approval from Commissioners.

When we hit the streets, we found property owners settling on different sides of the trash heap.  

"We're struggling against it," said downtown business owner Mike Walraven.

Paul King the general manager of REX Property & Land, LLC had a different opinion, "We're willing to pay a little extra to ensure the property isn't just clean in front of where we have our ownership, but our neighbors and adjoining blocks and properties are clean as well."

"I'm against the CADI and the majority of people and everyone on the 600 block of Broad is against it, we really see no advantage, it's just another tax," said Bill Prince, the owner of Bill's Place.

The DDA plans to present their petition to Commissioners December 18. If commissioners approve CADI through 2017, property owners are expected to shell out $350,000.

Woodard said CADI has been beneficial for the city, "It's making downtown friendlier, we assist stranded motorists, we keep panhandlers at bay, we assist people going to the bank we walk people to their cars."

King said he'd like to see the program continue, "Downtown is much cleaner than it was prior to CADI."

"Where things are clean things are safer and we should be proud that our streets are clean," Woodard, said.

But Walraven isn't convinced it's worth the price tag, "We're a small business and in the economy these days most small businesses need every penny they can keep."

"We don't want anybody doing stuff for us or taking our money, we take care of ourselves," said Prince.

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