AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The proposed 2023 budget is now in front of Augusta commissioners, but for some, the numbers are not adding up.
“Well, I read about the first ten pages of it, and closed the book on it because it was not going where I wanted it to go,” said Commissioner John Clake.
The proposed 2023 budget is on the go. It’s calling for almost $190 million in General Fund spending, an increase over the 2022 budget of more than $7 million.
“That’s one of the reasons we scheduled that workshop for next week, is really take a deep dive into why that increase is there, and really where are we going to get that funding from,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
But there are several budget priorities, commissioners say, that need to be funded.
“Certainly, our parks department is one making sure we have money in the coffers to eliminate blight in our community is another allocation around law enforcement,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
Spending on battling blight and litter is a priority for many going into this budget season.
“Cleaning up Augusta, I mean, you look at we’re growing, but at the same respect, you got to take care of your city whatever that means,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
But there are budget challenges, one is the landfill where there’s a projected budget shortfall, so increasing garbage fees could also be on the table.
“Anything is possible, so I’m saying garbage fees may go up,” said Commissioner Clarke.
“We may have to take a look, it’s been ten years since we’ve had a rate increase, so…” said Commissioner Garrett.
State law requires commissioners to approve a balanced budget, November 15 has been set as the date to get it done.