When it comes to a redevelopment Plan, downtown Augusta is ready to "turn a phrase".
Under public pressure, city leaders have called a work session later this month to discuss a proposed Urban Redevelopment Plan that would designate over 600 acres downtown as a "slum area".
That terminology has generated a ton of opposition. Now, Mayor Deke Copenhaver says the city is prepared to remove "slum area" from the official plan documents.
"Through legal research, we have found that we can use the description of the area, of what goes in to that type of area, without actually using that term. I've called a special work session in two weeks to address the issues. I think we can get there," says Mayor Copenhaver, who also says all options, including reducing the size of the proposed area, will be on the table at the work session.
The city needs state approval in order to issue tax bonds to renovate the Augusta Municipal Building.
Critics say, if the Municipal Building is the focus of the redevelopment, then only the building's area should be designated as the Urban Redevelopment Area.
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