***UPDATED at 12:12 P.M. on Thursday, March 10th***
Augusta, GA (WJBF) – We have learned the results of a “sweep” conducted by several Augusta-Richmond County agencies on Wednesday in a section of south Augusta.
During the “sweep” of several locations in the area, there were:
- 12 Failure to Maintain Structure citations issued
- 22 citations for vehicles without tags
- 24 trash and nuisance citations issued
- 2 burning without a permit violation citations issued
- 3 citations issued for businesses out of zone
- 4 citations issued for unlicensed businesses
- 4 building condemnations
This sweep is complete is now complete. Those who were cited have 30 days to follow up with city. After that, the cases could head to court.
More sweeps in other areas will follow, according to officials.
***POSTED at 6:32 P.M. on Wednesday, March 9th***
Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Richmond County deputies and code enforcement officers are trying to clean up south Augusta.
Wednesday, several agencies came together in an effort to find criminal activity and unsafe properties.
The building that formerly housed Golden Corral and Sushi Hibachi Grill on Peach Orchard Road has been condemned because it’s unfit for people to be inside.
“It’s destroyed because of vandals. People have made their homes in here. We try to keep a check on it the best we can, but they will slip in and out without notice,” Lieutenant Robbie Silas, of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, said.
The front windows are broken, copper wire has been stripped from the building, and trash and alcohol containers are all over the place.
Worst of all is there is evidence of drug use inside.
“The root of most of our problem is this right here. Drugs. You know, they’ll come in and get $10 to $15 worth of copper and go sell it and go and get their fix,” Silas said.
City officials say the windows should have been boarded up.
Now, the building is likely a total loss.
“I think valued close to $1 million. I doubt it’s anywhere close to that now,” Silas said.
“If we can’t get in contact with the property owner or they just don’t fix those issues we will take it to nuisance and abatement court where we go in front of the judge and ask for permission for the county to tear down the property,” Richmond County Code Enforcement manager Terrence Wynder said.
The Augusta task force isn’t just looking out for abandoned restaurants, but also nuisances in neighborhoods like junked cars with no tags, trash and debris in yards and unlicensed businesses.
“Looking for those types of things so we can address them. Not to just cite folks for their problems, but educate them on being a taxpayer, what you have to do to take care of your properties,” Silas said.
The agencies are doing this to get rid of blight and to increase property values in south Augusta.
The cited businesses have 30 days to prove compliance before they head to court.
City officials say they will fight to get the old Golden Corral demolished.