Augusta commissioners question budget recommendations

CSRA News

The City Administrator recommends some big spending, recommending a general fund budget of $160 million dollars. That’s up five and a half million dollars. 

“Things are good but I can tell you that we need to have some tough discussions. We need to talk about reserve funds. What is the goal of the commission moving forward,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.

The administrator’s goal in is a balanced budget and no tax hike. That’s possible because of an increase in city revenues. 

“Growth and revenue, and revenues are a really good thing. That’s the way you want to enhance the services you provide when it comes from the local economy,” says City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson. 

Commissioners were presented with the administrators recommendations on Tuesday. However, after the announcement of the of death fellow commissioner Grady Smith, no questions were asked. But some commissioners will be looking closely at the increase in spending in the budget recommendations. 

“I’m always looking if there are ways we can cut any positions that haven’t been filled over the years. I think that’s always something to continue to look at, I don’t want to see any large increases in anybody’s budget,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis. 

The administrator is recommending an across the board cost of living raise for all workers. Bigger raises for lower paid employees and adding 70 new workers across all the government. 

“I have concerns about growing personnel continually, where the needs are, yes, but it seems like every year we come back, more requests, more and more people and in the end are we seeing a better product for the people, I don’t know,” said Commissioner Frantom. 

The Administrators recommendations are also focusing on leisure services and special events. It includes $200 thousand dollars to hold concerts at Lake Olmstead Stadium and $100 thousand dollars to be used as seed money for a soul festival that would be held in 2020 

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