By Josh Kaib | Watchdog Wire.com
Money troubles be damned, Augusta, Ga. is spending more money to relocate people from the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
On the night of Sept. 16, the Augusta Commission voted to approve an additional $630,000 for the financially troubled project that has the city purchasing residents’ property to build a drainage pond.
According to WJBF’s George Eskola, around 30 percent of the neighborhood’s residents have been relocated. The city plans to acquire 370 parcels of land and demolish 189 buildings.
To complete the project, city engineers will need a lot more money. Here’s an exchange from the commission’s meeting recounted by Eskola:
“We’re still about 4 to 5 million dollars short,” says City Engineering Department Director Abie Ladson
“Just for relocation?”
“That is correct.”
“How are you going to find that extra money?”
“We’re in the process…to see where we can identify or use some funds,” says Ladson.
Beyond the funding needed for relocations, the city may also needs as much as $10 million to build the drainage pond.
Watchdog Wire has learned one area of funding could from the federal government’s Silver Jackets program. Administered in part by the Army Corps of Engineers, this program provides assistance to local and state governments to mitigate flooding risks.