Commissioners clash over sales tax funding for rec projects


You would think this would not be a tough task for elected officials, spend 11 million dollars, however according to the master plan the Rec Department has over 70 million dollars in needs so some projects are going to be left out pushed to later.

Things are in a pickle at the Brigham Center, the roof leaks and the floor needs replacing,

“Brigham is not in the best of condition, it was built in 1992, with inmate labor it’s showing it’s wear and tear and it needs a lot of work,” said Interim Recreation and Parks Director Ron Houck.

Commissioners this week getting an update on the projects that should be in line for funding, using 11 million dollars of available sales tax money things like one million dollars for safety upgrades at 8 city parks.

“We’ve been deferring a lot of this stuff over the years as you well know at some point we’re just going to have to tackle these and get them out of the way,” said Houck.

But Tuesday some commissioners felt what needs to be tackled is a total replacement of the Brigham Center and Dyess Park Center total cost almost 8 million dollars.

“I think coming up with that recommendation to build two new facilities right off the cuff was unfair and unreasonable you have to look at your money and look at other things that’s also on the list of priorities,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

There is some money recommended for both centers, but for repairs not for total replacements so doing so would have an impact

“We’d have to take a look at that because certainly we couldn’t afford to do everything,” said Houck.

“We can’t designate all our funding to one particular or two particular areas without finding out what we need overall as a city,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

Commissioners did finally vote to have the Rec Department come back in 30 days with a priority list on the best way to spend these sales tax dollars in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.

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