Augusta Government Will Close For the First Time For Veterans Da - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Augusta Government Will Close For the First Time For Veterans Day

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You won't be able to read about Veterans Day at the Augusta Library Monday or Sunday.

It's closed both days as Augusta recognizes Veterans Day. 

Library regular Betty Love had not heard Augusta was making Veterans Day a city holiday.

"I didn't, but that's okay with me," she said.

In February, Augusta Commissioners voted to add Veterans Day as an official city holiday, making it number 11.

Commissioner Bill Lockett, a veteran himself, led the charge.

"Last Veterans Day, we were sitting in Commission meeting, and people were passing by and saying, 'Commissioner, we appreciate your service.' If you appreciate my service, show it by honoring that particular day," said Lockett.

And, many in Augusta agree with making veterans say a city holiday.

"I think they should they deserve it for the city of Augusta, I think they deserve it, just like veterans deserve recognition," said James Lanham, a veteran himself.

But, the new holiday will change Willie Nero's schedule. He's a regular at the senior program at Carrie Mays Community Center, but it will be closed for Veterans Day.

"I enjoy coming to the senior program, it's just one of those days. Whatever they got going on, there's nothing you can do about it, but I wish it was going on," said Nero.

No senior programs at city rec centersm or senior nutrition programs. However, the seniors received box meals on Thursday and will on Friday, to make up for Monday.

But the impact of Veterans Day is not just closed rec centers and other city services, like the Tax Commissioners Office or the 311 customer service line.

Some employees still need to be on the job, like public safety.

The Finance Department's quick list shows Veterans Day will cost taxpayers at least $160,000 in holiday pay, and that's while the city is now facing an $8 million budget shortfall.

"We have expended funds for many other things that weren't quite as worthy as Veterans Day, so we'll manage," says Commissioner Bill Lockett.

One city service not impacted by Veterans Day will be trash pickup.

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