More cuts less reserves proposed for 2021 Augusta budget


 Augusta, Ga (WJBF) Augusta’s budget writers are calling it option three, the new proposal to eliminate a projected 8-million-dollar shortfall in next year’s budget. 

“We got to be serious about this we just can’t find a band-aid to patch it up we need to protect the taxpayer’s money,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.  

 The proposal calls for taking 2 million dollars out of city reserves to help balance the budget, that’s more than 2 million dollars less than the administrators first proposal. 

 With the pandemic there is support to using some reserves.  

“That’s why we put the money a side we say we don’t want to use it why did we put it there you want to make it as minimal as possible,” said Commissioner Sammie Sias.  

 The administrator also proposing a little more than 900 thousand dollars in what are called strategic reductions but the proposal, short on details.   

“We’re going to make those cuts I need to know before I can support it who’s going to be cut and how much,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.  

 The administrator also proposing to keep the one point three-million-dollar transfer from the storm water program to the general fund, but some not in favor  

 “To me that fund should stay specifically within what that fund was specified for I was really hoping to see more cuts across the board,” said Commissioner Garrett. 

 City administrators spoke against across the board cuts they could have devastating impact on city services. 

 Finance officials saying there are 33 million dollars in city reserves. 

 There is another budget work session scheduled for Friday. 

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