Augusta leaders narrowly approved moving forward with changing city policy to allow street light fees to go up.
With the commission divided, Mayor Hardie Davis broke a five to five tie in favor of the measure.
This vote doesn’t raise street light fees, but only allows for city code to be changed.if commissioners approve a rate increase later.
But opponents said any fee increases should have been talked about first before the policy was changed.
“Once you rewrite the agreement, the next thing is a vote on it. Once you vote on it, it gets passed. I’m not even giving it that much. I’m not supporting it that much. I think it’s wrong. I think we should have done it a long time ago. We didn’t do it, now we’re up against the wall like we do everything. I got a problem with that,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
Supporters say a fee increase is needed to eliminate a more than one million dollar shortfall in the street light budget.
A subcommittee is looking at four options to increase rates, that would raise between six and a half and seven and a half million dollars.