Terri Adams is a regular in downtown Augusta. She doesn't like that city leaders are preparing to call it names. "It's sad, it's very sad. I work here, I live here. I don't see it as being a slum," she said.
Neither does Brandon Florence, who was taking a walk down Broad Street. "This [is] one of the best parts of town. It has a lot of history and is really pretty. I think they should do more with it, but I don't think it's a slum area," he said.
But, city leaders are preparing to create an Urban Redevelopment Area downtown. The main reason is to issue bonds for the renovation of the Augusta Municipal Building, but it could lead to potential funding opportunities as well.
But, to do that, state law states that they have to officially designate it, about 600 acres downtown, a "slum area".
"It's not a slum, it's state law...requires that we use that term," says Mayor Deke Copenhaver.
So to benefit downtown and help it develop, you have to declare the area a slum. But, there's more to Augusta than just downtown, there are other parts of the Garden City. Don't those parts deserve to be a slum?
"Absolutely," says Basil Jarrett, who lives in south Augusta. "Other parts deserve to be slum areas, too?" we asked. "I concur with that, it's not fair," he said.
"Yes sir, not downtown," said Sharon Freeman. "Everywhere should be a slum area?" we asked. "Yes," she said. "That's only fair?" we asked. "Right, yes sir," she said.
"You're not slighting south Augusta or west Augusta by not designating them slum areas?" we asked the Mayor. "Not at all. I'm proud off all parts of our city," he said.
But for now, it's only downtown that gets to go slumming.
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