(AUGUSTA,GA)Lester Johnson is a regular visitor to the James Brown statue no matter what time of year.
“I just sit down and rest a little bit rest yes you come here all the time about every day,” said Johnson.
Johnson had some company on this day city engineer Abie Ladson who was checking out the plans for the statue site.
Knowing that the plans need to change because of the root damage to four trees including the two large Willow Oaks that shade the spot.
The ones that you see here were actually to remain but were going to have to take those out,” said Ladson.
City engineers are consulting with the tree commission about how to move forward at the James Brown statue with the plan to take all the tree down and work from there.
“I think we have a plan forward is to take them out and replant them,” said Ladson.
Commissioners approved the landscaping plans late last year with the thought all the trees will remain in place.
But Supporters don’t see the project being impacted if new trees are planted.
“Sometime you’ve got to move some stuff to do something else if we leave those trees there we wouldn’t be able to do the enhancement that we want to do it’s about growth it’s about doing things a little differently,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
The old trees will be taken down after Masters, but it will be a little longer before a decision is made on what trees will replace the old ones and when they will go in.
“There are two or three different species that will work it’s certainly not the time of year to be planting trees we’ll have to wait to this fall,” said Roy Simkins Chairman of the Tree Commission.
That means a summer of little shape for statue visitors.
“You’re going to miss those big shady trees,” I asked Johnson.
“Yeah sure is,” said Johnson.
The site doesn’t look good with Masters just days away and city engineers say mulch will be put down this week then after the tournament the site will be sodded.
With four new trees coming in late fall.
City engineers say there not sure what it will cost but say it’s within the 45 thousand dollar budget that’s already been approved.