Taxpayers will foot bill for archeological assessment for homeless shelter

After months of debate, the West Savannah community could soon learn the fate of what has...
After months of debate, the West Savannah community could soon learn the fate of what has become a highly-debated proposal by the Salvation Army to build a transitional housing homeless shelter off of Augusta Avenue.(Salvation Army)
Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah taxpayers will now foot the bill for an “archeological assessment” in West Savannah.

The city council says it has to happen before a homeless shelter can be built there.

The City has not given an answer on how long it will take or how much it will cost.

WTOC asked a city spokesman and they said they’ll have the answers by Monday. But at this point, all we know is that the city is paying for it, and it could take at least two to three months.

The land in question is off Augusta Avenue. The debate around this proposed Salvation Army Homeless shelter has centered around the site of the historic 1859 Weeping Time slave auction.

Opponents say it is on the historic site. City records say otherwise.

We got in touch with the Georgia Historical Society to try and get to the bottom of this. They are working to get us the original maps.

“We would have to pay for a phase one, whatever that is. And I don’t have a problem with doing that, because I’m sure the housing authority won’t play for a phase one on their own property,” said Mayor Van Johnson when speaking about the assessment.

Alderwoman Bernetta Lanier was the one last night who said she had copies of original maps that proved the city’s records are wrong. We tried to reach her after the meeting but still haven’t heard back.

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