Clint Wilder is a Riverwalk regular and would like to see this former jewel get some help."I think it's needed, I think it's needed like anything silver, gold you got to polish it or it becomes tarnished," he said.
To take some of the tarnish off Riverwalk, the first order of business will be to trim and prune 300 trees to improve sight lines for visitors to help make them safer, but that cost will be more than $180,000.
"The price came in at around 183-5 that was with over 20 employees coming in from one company to go through the entire Riverwalk, they thought they could do it in a three to four week period," says Bob Levine, Augusta Recreation and Parks Department director.
Lighting is also an issue on Riverwalk, but those $183,000 does not include any money to work on the lights.
The city efforts are focusing on security and safety for visitors at Riverwalk, and this crew is working on that to.
At the direction of Sheriff Richard Roundtree, the park is being measured for possible installation of security cameras to be part of a network with Broad Street and downtown...maybe three dozen cameras in all. And, for the cameras to work on Riverwalk, the trees need to be cut back to 15 feet off the ground.
"With the canopy not maintained like it is, the cameras wouldn't be very effective, wouldn't be able to see very many especially in low light conditions," says George Thames, of Motorola Solutions.
Pruning trees will help make the Riverwalk safer and so should the cameras. But, at what cost?
"I would guess, for a typical project, and this one is not typical because of the Riverwalk, but typical project would be a half million to two million, depending on how many cameras and where it has to go" says Thames.
City Administrator Fred Russell says it premature to be discussing spending a $500,000 to $2 million for trimming trees. The first step is finding $180,000 for tree trimming. However, the Downtown Development Authority says it could be willing to chip in $150,000 for the work.
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