AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Commissioners are still two weeks away from receiving all of the interim city administrator’s recommendations for the 2024 budget and some say they’re wondering why they’re taking part in a budget work session.
“I know it has something to do with the Sheriff’s Office the Marshal’s Department and a couple of other departments,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
Interim City Administrator Takiyah Douse provided city leaders with a sneak peek of her budget recommendations for public safety, including a proposing increase for the Sheriff’s Office.
“Somebody is going to get more money I’m not sure if it’s road patrol I’m not sure if that’s the jail you know we give the sheriff the money and he puts it where he wants to put it,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree has requested more than $5 million to boost salaries in 2024.
“To have good people you got to pay good people that is going to be one of our budgetary asks and increase,” said Sheriff Roundtree.
But the administrator’s recommendation is $1.9 million; enough to provide increases for road patrol and investigators but not jailers.
Douse says the Sheriff is accepting of the compromise. “Would not satisfy 100 percent of his needs but addresses the immediate concerns that he has and that is to ensure that he is able to recruit and retain as well as offer a competitive wage.”
With American Rescue Act funds running out, commissioners are looking at a tight budget year in 2024.
“Our operating budget will be presented based upon proposed funds for 2024 that does not include a tax increase,” said Douse.
But it will be commissioners who will have the final say on what is included in the 2024 budget. That will happen next month.