AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta leaders participated in the last scheduled work session before the deadline to approve the 2024 city budget.
“We have a pretty balanced budget we’re going to have a surplus this year, I think we should pass the budget so we can get on with governing in 2024,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
But one aspect of the 2024 proposed budget has some city leaders worried: it’s balanced using $4 million in Rescue Act funds. Those dollars go away after next year, so they want budget cuts across the board cut.
“.075… That would generate $6 or $7 million. Set it aside for next year’s issues for which we will be facing,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
But at the work session, commissioners are looking to increase the budget with more money for the library, Mach Academy, and the Engineering Department; about $500,000 total.
Interim City Administrator Takiyah Douse recommends using remaining Rescue Act funds to keep the budget balanced and says big cuts are not needed next year to help future years. “At this time, we don’t foresee there to be anything out of the normal budgeting cut process that would take place,” said Douse.
Douse is recommending commissioners adopt the budget next week without additional cuts.
“No, it’s not where I want to go right now. We still need to look at this. Today would not be a good day to vote on this,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
But commissioners are saying whatever is approved for 2024, they want to have a budget review at midyear.