Mayor Supports New Downtown BID For Beefed Up Patrols - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Mayor Supports New Downtown BID For Beefed Up Patrols

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Potentially, we're looking at millions on the Augusta Riverwalk to improve safety and security, and there could be more spending on Broad Street, as well.

Augusta Commissioners have approved Sheriff Richard Roundtree's safety plan that includes hiring 6 additional officers to patrol the area and put up 32 security cameras.

The City of Augusta isn't certain where the funding for the cameras will come from, but there is a plan for the police patrols.

To pay just for it, 50 percent of owners downtown will have to agree to tax themselves, to bring in $350,000. Some property owners don't want to pay the extra taxes, but the Mayor says it needs to be done.

"You never are going to get 100 percent approval, I don't believe, but so much of it is to change the perceptions downtown. Our crime rate isn't very high in our urban core, but do I think it would be a good thing for changing perceptions, helping give a safer feel to the area? Absolutely," says Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

Sheriff Roundtree plans to hit the streets to sign up property owners for the police improvement district (PID) within the next two weeks. Now, those who worked on the Cadi's BID last say it took them six months to get 52 percent of the property owners signed up downtown, so this could be a long process.

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