Commissioners say funding should not hinder maintenance on right of ways

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – What Augusta is doing right now to maintain its right of ways is just not cutting it for some city leaders. 

“I’m wanting to know, the citizens are wanting to know, what are they doing with the storm water fee money?” said Commissioner John Clarke.  

Storm water fees are being used to cut grass along city right of ways right now six times a year, except on state highways where the state mows. 

Commissioners say they want to make a better first impression for visitors at entryways, pointing out that that isn’t the case on the Gordon Highway, even though the grass was finally cut.   

“Gordon Highway right now, where they just cut the grass and it looks like a hay field, that was mowed right now the street from me in Hipbath because the grass was so tall,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.  

But after commission complaints, engineers say next year mowing could increase in the high traffic areas but that would increase the costs. 

“I may look into cutting funds from somewhere else allocating $100 thousand dollars towards this effort to once a month,” said Engineering Department Director Hameed Malik. 

Commissioners say not having the money to maintain right ways is not an excuse. 

“The funding is there, when you’re taking in 12 and a half to 14 million a year in storm water fees and you’re telling me the funding is not there to cut the grass, then you tell me where this funding is going,” said Commissioner John Clarke.  

The right of ways are a big problem for some commissioners, one that continues to grow. 

Private companies are doing the most of the mowing using storm water fees. Right now the cost is about $32 hundred dollars a mile but engineers say the plan for next year is to get that down to about $2000 dollars a mile  

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