AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) A gaping hole in the old mall parking lot, and huge pile of old asphalt not something you see every day at Regency Mall..
“Well I was shocked the first things I thought about well did they get the property permits to break up the asphalt and after they do what’s going to happen to the settling of the ground,” says Commissioner Andrew Jefferson, who represents the area.
There is no permit for the work, and it’s needed for an earth moving project like this so close to a Rocky Creek..
“The city put a stop work order on them because it’s a clear violation of the clean water act of state and county laws, there’s a fine I believe it’s up to 35 thousand dollars a day for this kind of work, “said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.
Getting rid of the asphalt could be a plus for the mall owners it will would help reduce their storm water fees, however the company has yet to pay any of it’s 75 hundred dollar a month bills.
“If everyone else has to pay it think they should have to pay it too,” says Commissioner Jefferson.
The mall is also in the center of the arena location battle, so will doing this work without the proper permits, hurt public support.
“It certainly don’t help it I won’t say it hurts the chances it’s disappointing to see this.
But the Riverkeeper says not totally disappointing, she says though they went about it wrong she says the owners effort to get rid of the paved parking should be applauded.
“Yeah if you were to remove of all this concrete and go back to grass Rocky creek would benefit because a whole lot less of that water would run off every time it rains, said Bonitatibus.
Commissioner Jefferson doesn’t support entering a lease agreement with mall owners for an arena on the site, he wants the city to take the property through eminent domain. but not before Augusta voters weigh in There’s be straw poll questions on the two party ballots asking voters if they want the arena downtown or Regency Mall.