AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta has invested a lot in Riverwalk. Now commissioners are investing in renaming the park for former Mayor Ed McIntyre. 

“We have not had anybody with that type of vision since that time, so mister McIntyre really put in some great work when he was here in Augusta,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.  

McIntyre is credited as the visionary behind Riverwalk, but he was arrested while in office and tried and convicted in Federal Court for Extortion.

“Some of the feedback we got from the public hearing, I can tell you I’ve gotten a lot of outcries from why we are going to rename the Riverwalk after Mister McIntyre, so we’ll have the discussion and see where it goes,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.  

Where it went was the committee voting 3 to 1 to recommend renaming the park in honor of McIntyre.

“Mister McIntyre paid for his offenses and his crime, and we can let bygones be bygones. The name on the building, the name on the Riverwalk shouldn’t make that much of a difference,” said Commissioner Tony Lewis.  

“I have gotten a few calls saying most people are going to continue to call it regardless of what it’s named,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight. 

The committee also approved renaming the Utilities Department building for former director Tom Wiedmeier, and a ball field at Diamond Lakes for former Commissioner Andy Cheek. 

The full commission votes on final approval of all the name changes next week.