Vera Gardenhire has spent 30 years living off Tobacco Road, she says what south Augusta needs are good restaurants.
“We definitely need more places to eat, that’s been a problem. We’re very limited in what we have out here,” Vera said.
And bringing new businesses to overlooked areas of south Augusta is what this sub-committee is all about. A joint project between the city of Augusta and the Economic Development Authority.
“We know south Augusta has plenty of development, it has plenty of money, but we just need to make sure that the folks with the businesses know that,” said Commissioner Sammie Sias.
Commissioners approved $200 thousand dollars for the project to hire a program manager and researcher, but the Development Authority is taking applications to take on bringing in new business.
“That’s going to be their target, we’re going to look at the geographic areas considered underserved and their daily job is going to be ‘how can we get there, how can we create jobs, how can we get new investment’,” said Augusta Economic Development Authority President Cal Wray.
“This position is so needed to, really, daily focus on underserved areas and bringing in businesses or restaurants,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis.
Augusta hasn’t tried this program for underserved areas so there’s no guarantee the time and money will pay off.
“If you want it done in the next six months it’s probably not happening. If you want to do it over the next five years I think you will have some success,” said Wray
For south Augusta it’s food for thought.
The Economic Development Authority said they’ve gotten 10 applications for the project managers job, 3 they said we’re qualified candidates, they’ll stop accepting applications in two weeks with the hope of having a person on board by the end of October.