AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams says what the city is doing for the problems of overgrown lots and abandoned buildings can be better. That is why the city is looking at a better coordinated and centralized response.
It’s the message city leaders want to send to owners who allow their property to get like this.
“We’re going to let them know we’re the Garden City and we’re going to clean the city up,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
Code Enforcement officials are proposing an ordinance change to speed up the appeal process when properties are cited for being out of compliance, and to help in response commissioners are considering centralizing all city complaints lines under the 311.
“And then 311 will make sure it’s dispersed properly and I think that’s properly where we’re heading,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
Augusta’s 311 has about 100 thousand calls so far this year, Commissioner Marion Williams says he was routed to 311 and was on hold for a long time.
“I spent 20…25 minutes. I told the 311 person and I told the director that Joe Q citizen shouldn’t have to go through all that,” said Commissioner Williams.
But some calls to Augusta 311 don’t get to Augusta 311…they go to Columbia County instead; the city is working to fix that.
“We did get with Verizon, they had an actual problem in the configuration, so we’re working with them to get that changed,” said Information and Technology Director Tameka Allen.
Commissioners started these meetings after the shooting death of Code Enforcement Officer Charles Case. The department says employees are now wearing bullet proof vests, have had safety training from the Marshal and their radio system is being monitored by 911
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