Commissioners pushing forward on downtown redevelopment

Commission pushing forward on downtown project

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Richmond County Commission voted Monday to push forward on a project that would spruce up downtown, something they think needs to happen. But without calling the area a slum, it won't be considered an urban redevelopment and won't receive any funding.

Business owner Mike Walraven says sticks and stones don't break his bones these days. It's words like 'slum' hurting him and his downtown art glass business.

"There's a stereotype that it's unclean. Negative aspects are claiming crime is running rapid. And now we're going to get this name attached to us a slum."

Commissioner Grady Smith says nobody likes using 'slum' to describe Augusta.

"But if we can get the money now, fix the term later."

Walraven says he works downtown everyday and doesn't see what needs to be fixed.

"If there are problems, such as buildings, make people fix the buildings up. I don't see big problems and I'm down here almost everyday."