AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Thousands will be streaming into Augusta this weekend for this year’s Ironman, and a community activist is saying what they will see along Augusta streets is hardly fitting for a place that calls itself the Garden City.
The appearance of Augusta is going down the drain says the Chairman of Augusta’s Tree Commission.
“And It’s just a shame, it’s embarrassing and you would think those who run the city government would be embarrassed too,” said Roy Simkins.
Roy Simkins finds a lot to be embarrassed about, from gutters and drains choked with debris, from azalea beds choked with weeds and other plants. And large dead trees along Augusta’s downtown streets where the Ironman will draw crowds.
“It gets to be a real hazard it could not only damage automobiles in could also damage people,” said Simkins.
Simkins isn’t alone speaking up about how Augusta looks.
And we have out-of-down visitors, and they see how in disrepair downtown is our fountains don’t work that looks bad,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
Simkins says it’s not just downtown, it’s all over Augusta and what’s taking place didn’t happen overnight.
“This is several years of neglect here,” he said.
City officials say money is an issue when it comes to maintaining the city, but commissioners right now are pushing to create a new 420 thousand dollar a year program to put speed humps in neighborhoods.
“I think it’s a lot more important to have a nice-looking city than it is to have speed bumps,” said Simkins.
Just last month commissioners were raising concerns about the appearance of the city that had the city administrator suggesting that possibly some American Rescue Act funds could be used to help pay for some of the maintenance.