ATHENS – An amendment to the Athens-Clarke County budget would increase the investment downtown. The amendment is now part of the 2016 budget proposal. Commissioner Mike Hamby wants the money that is made through downtown parking to stay in downtown.
Grady Newsource reporter Cara Lynn Clarkson met with Chris Blackmon, the chair of the Athens Downtown Development Authority, to discuss the projects the ADDA will fund to beautify Athens.
Devin Clower, a local business owner who plans on applying for the grant, says that this would help her business because it would attract more customers and make downtown a more pleasant experience for visitors.
The Athens Downtown Development Authority would take 20 percent of the downtown parking revenue. This is a 5 percent increase from what they get from that revenue.
Commissioner Hamby says the money will go to three specific projects. The first initiative would be to offer small loans to businesses in an attempt to increase the diversity of downtown. The money would also go to a program to improve the facade of many businesses downtown. Finally, the money would fund landscaping and wayfinding signs.