City Worker Pay Raise Proposed Though 14 Budget is Seven Million - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

City Worker Pay Raise Proposed Though 14 Budget is Seven Million Dollars Out Of Balance

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Augusta, GA -

This Recreation and Parks Department crew was preparing to add some fall color to the downtown flower boxes, planting new pansy's  but it wasn't just flowers they want to see grow they also hope it's their paychecks. 

 "A pay increase would be very important to us as you know and all of the employees from my perspective are pretty much hoping and I hope that we don't get let down, like we did in the previous years," said Vittirio Washington.

In his 2014 budget presentation City Administrator Fred  Russell  indicated city workers deserve more pay, recommending a $15 hundred dollar across the board cost of living raise for  workers saying the raises would be a greater benefit to the employees on the lower end of the pay scale.

"I would like to see them get an increase, George they work hard especially the little people who are out on the street every day they deserve to have an increase," says Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson.

But there isn't anything small about a $15 hundred dollar across the board raise, it would cost  tax payers three million dollars, and that's part of the 2014  budget's nearly  seven and a half million dollar shortfall.

Russell says there are two ways commisison can go, cut spending in other areas, or raise taxes to pay for it.

"I don't think anybody wants to raise the milage rate at this point what I would prefer to do let's look at non essential services versus essential services and see where we can save money," says Commissioner Donnie Smith

 "We need to cut some stuff off at the top if we got to make some cuts if we cut some stuff at the top maybe we won't have to raise taxes we need to look at the top not the bottom this time," says Commissioner Marion Williams.

Would you support a tax increase?

"I wouldn't support it but some things we got to do now," said Williams.

To offset the nearly seven and a half million dollar shortfall the Russell,  is recommending taking three and a half million dollars out  of reserves to help balance the budget.

But that still leaves three million dollar's plus commissioners will have to make up.

The plan is to approve the budget by November 19th.

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