Augusta leaders, department heads meet to discuss top complaint

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - On Friday, Augusta Commissioners made a step towards addressing the number one complaint from Augusta taxpayers: overgrown grass.

Trying to get answers has been frustrating since people have to call several departments for help. The goal is to tackle the issue under one roof.

The issue of overgrown grass is becoming more of a growing pain, from the ones hearing about it to the ones actually living around it.

Rebecca Birchfield lives in Harrisburg and lives with overgrown grass daily.

“They make a lot of promises, but they don’t get the results,” said Birchfield. “We complain and get no action. Why aren’t they doing something? Why do we have to complain so much?”

The volume of complaints led city leaders to host a grounds maintenance workshop.

Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson said: “We’re having a discussion. It is no longer something that continues to be swept under the rug.”

The discussion involves each department in charge of upkeep, including 311, Parks and Recreation, Engineering, and RCCI.

“It’s my promise and my pledge that next year, next spring, when the grass starts to green up again, we will have a plan to have this department centralized,” said Mayor Johnson.

The goal is to avoid complaints getting lost in the weeds.

District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson said: “I hope that within the next few months, we’ll be able to come up with a solid plan, certainly before the end of the year to get this done.”

Until a plan comes into play, the grass remains.

Birchfield said: “I don’t want to leave Augusta but tell me why I should stay. If this is how it’s going to be, I’m gonna have to fight all the time to get something done.”

As for what’s next after Friday’s workshop, Commissioners say another workshop is going to need to happen. There is no date set.