Augusta's annual battle of the budget is underway.
Commissioners will be presented with the 2014 spending plan at their regular meeting Tuesday.
Several budget work sessions showed departments are requesting increases to give employees pay raises. However, an across-the-board 5% increase would cost about $5 million, so the city would need to look at deep cuts or raising taxes.
"With revenues and the economy the way it is, the crystal ball is always cloudy. These days, it's sort of tough and the Commission has to make some tough decisions and I'm going to be making some hard recommendations as we go forward," says City Administrator Fred Russell.
Under state law, Commissioners have until the end of the year to approve a balance budget for next year.
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