Augusta,Ga (WJBF) A burned out house stands on the this block in Augusta as litter clogs the curbside.
“It brings the neighborhood down honestly especially it means moving from New York and moving here they need to clean it up a little better,” said Harold Fritz a new neighbor.
Not just neighbors. Augusta commissioners saying the issues of blight and litter need to be an enforcement priority.
“Somebody needs to stop and right a citation if necessary or whatever it takes to get the people to understand we’re not going to tolerate it we’re going to clean this city up.” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
To help clean the city up Marshal Ramone Lamkin requested 7 new employees to deal with litter and blight in the 2020 budget.
“We always need more to get the job done because there’s a lot we’re cleaning up this city here but I like the way the commission is going we’re working together to try and get this city cleaned up,” said Marshal Ramone Lamkin.
But the Administrator’s budget recommendation cut the marshal’s staffing request from 7 to 4, some Commissioners saying that’s not the direction they want to go.
“I think that we need to double his request if he asked for five he probably needs 10,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.
During a budget work session commissioners seem to indicate that if the city is truly committed to battling blight the Marshall needs to get at least five new employees for next year.
“You see the will of this body to try and get the city cleaned up and we want to get it done so that’s why I came he today and asked for the five and I think we’re going to get it,” said Marshal Lamkin.
Those would be new forces to battle In Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel six.
New fees for evictions carried out by the Marshal were approved this year, Lamkin says those fees will be used to cover the costs of the new employees.