AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - For months, Augusta city leaders have been at odds about what to do with the old Regency Mall site. Turn it into the new James Brown Arena or turn the page on that and start looking at other options? On Tuesday, Commissioners voted on whether to accept the mall site as the new James Brown Arena.
Another week, the same discussion for Richmond County Commissioners, Regency Mall & the James Brown Arena. And for the 2nd straight time, Commissioners voted not to pass the Regency Mall site as the future JBA.
"Our decision shouldn't be made on feelings, it should be made on facts and that's what I did. I voted my conscious today," says Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
Commissioner Guilfoyle was one of the 7 who voted to not pass it but says the meeting today showed progress. "This meeting today was over 2 hours of discussion. Everybody had input which was further then what we've ever been before."
Mayor Hardie Davis also took part of the discussion. He says watching the downtown area boom in the past several years makes this a perfect opportunity to focus on an area that hasn't seen that growth.
"I've watched as this area of our community has been systematically excluded from the overall prosperity of our city," says Mayor Davis.
But moving forward, Commissioner Marion Williams says this won't be the last time Commissioners will see this on the agenda. "I asked the clerk to put it back on the agenda because it's the best site, there is no better place we can use," he says.
Commissioner Williams explains he will continue to put this item on the agenda until the outcome changes. For him and other Commissioners there's no denying that change needs to happen in South Augusta. The question heading into the new year is what kind of changes will take place at Gordon Highway?
"I take issue to when people say they're for growth but they can't see what needs to be out there. They're lying, they're tricking somebody but they're not going to trick me," says Commissioner Williams.
The Coliseum Authority will meet again in January where it will decide on what to do in terms of a new site. Members of that board told FOX 54 last month, if City Leaders could not reach an agreement it's best to pick a different site for the JBA.