DDA Has A Job To Convince Public Downtown Is Safe - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

DDA Has A Job To Convince Public Downtown Is Safe

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Will recent events lead to empty sidewalks on Broad Street, is this what's developing for the Downtown Development Authority?

"Absolutely not, we're not going to be broken that easily,  bad news always travels faster than good news it just points out we do have problems and we have to take care of them," says DDA member Natalie McLeod.

The DDA meeting for the first time since the attacks on Riverwalk, and the video of a massive fight on Broad Street

"We got a job, the job is to make sure that the rest of the community, and any and everybody else understands one it is safe to be downtown and two if something happens we'll do every as quickly as possible to take care of that situation," says DDA member Sanford Loyd.

The recent violence may have shaken the public's confidence in downtown but the DDA says it hasn't scare off new businesses or residents.

DDA announcing that a new restaurant- sports bar will move into the old TV station on Broad Street and the J. B. Whites building signed contracts with two new tenants over despite the headline making reports of violence.

"The owner said on Monday, got a call from one of the contracts he was like oh my gosh it was the building owner says the deal was still good he wanted to live in downtown Augusta, he also wanted to be part of the solution," says DDA Director Margaret Woodard.

 The solution is going to need to be improving the feeling that Broad Street is secure, the Sheriff's office is adding patrols and since the big brawl started in a bar, the sheriff office is telling bar owners to call 9-1-1 when people decide to step outside to do battle.

"Those are things as citizens first of all we need to always be thinking about to make sure we maintain a safe environment all the time," says Loyd,

The DDA did not take any action on any security measures of its own at the meeting, but there have been discussions with private groups to have a two to three member security team working downtown Thursday Friday and Saturday nights

But final details have not been worked out.

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