AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – For city leaders, it makes sense to issue $30 million in bonds to fund four shovel-ready SPLOST 8 projects, and then, use later collections to pay back the bonds.
“The bonding is a good idea; it will enrich the lives of the folks in Richmond County. I think it’s a good thing,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
It’s good for Dyess Park. It will pay for a $6 million makeover, but the project will make the old fire station that has served as a community center here for decades obsolete.
But Historic Augusta is calling on the city to save the 133-year-old structure for future use.
“They haven’t used it in a while, and they feel they need a new building. We don’t argue with that, but we feel they could have a new building and save the fire station,” said Erick Montgomery, Executive Director of Historic Augusta.
Commissioners will have final say on the Dyess renovations, but should saving the fire station be a part of the plan?
“Some of our historical sites we do need to hold on to. This is in a historical area,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
“If we do, what are we going to do with it because my understanding is that it’s full of mold. There’s asbestoses in there. So, how much will it really cost? That is a burden to the citizens, and I am not willing to say yes to keep it,” said Commissioner Francine Scott
“I’ve been all over Dyess Park. I think a lot of people have. We all want to see the different parts of it saved at the same time. Let us discuss it,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
But talks of saving the old fire station may not be cheap.