City leaders spar over more money for James Brown statue work

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) They’re love James Brown, but they’re not fans of the next phase of the work planned at his statue, the removal of all six trees from the site, taking away the shade.

“It’s not going to be as welcoming we need the shade Georgia is about trees beauty we need the shade,” said Nadine Minnix visiting with her friend from Delaware.

Tree removal is only a part of the plan for the statue, the work includes new landscaping, lighting to make it seem like the statue is on stage and brickwork that will include some history of the singer.

The city has budgeted 45 thousand dollars for the work but that’s not nearly enough.

‘We still need about 100 thousand dollars to full fund everything,” said Engineering Department Director Abie Ladson.

“Not budgeted as we speak?

“It’s not in the budget,” said Ladson.

Some commissioners want to hit the brakes on the enhancements at the statue until money from the T-SPLOST is available in about four years.

“For me I wish we would kind of wait let’s focus on cleaning up the city make it a more safer downtown where people will want to come down and then look at the James Brown statue then,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

“The old saying hurry up and wait I don’t want to wait we waited too long for James Brown we should have done this a long time ag  People are really excited now there’s some haters out there that but most of the people understand what we’re doing,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

“There’s no hater in me at all I think it’s just being smart about it that’s all there is to it,” said Frantom.

City engineers have a tight time line to install the new brick work, and stage lighting and are looking to complete the enhancements by the middle of August, but that’s only if the additional 100 thousand dollars is approved.


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