AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Commissioners are now going over a once in a generation budget presentation that reflects the tens of millions of dollars the city is getting in American Rescue Plan funds. Commissioners are also looking at budget line items that add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
City Administrator Odie Donald’s budget proposal for next year shows Augusta to be a nearly one-billion-dollar operation.
Spending is going up but that’s not unexpected.
“We tasked him to really come at us with an aggressive budget, I think with the ARP funds makes it look at little misconstrued cause you see the huge increase how things are but most of the departments are flat.
But not all departments, and some commissioners are not fully embracing the administrator’s recommendations.
“We’re going to have to make some adjustments to that budget, regardless of what government thinks, taxpayers are not a bottomless pit of money,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
One area we wanted to see is the mayor’s recommended budget.
The mayor’s spending, coming under fire earlier this year, for 70 thousand dollars in credit card bills.
“We haven’t talked, the mayor’s budget, none of the commissioners, didn’t see it until an hour before. I think that will be a discussion we’ll have for sure. as far as I’ve been told the budgets are flat,” said Commissioner Frantom.
The administrator’s recommendation is not keeping the mayor’s budget flat, though the mayor requested more the Administrator recommendation is for a 68-thousand-dollar increase.
“I haven’t looked at them definitely I don’t think it should be increased I think if anything it should stay flat,” said Commissioner Clarke.
“Mayor’s budget goes up 68 thousand”
“We’ll have that discussion on why because I didn’t know that,” said Frantom.
The budget debate continues next week, when it goes the
Finance Committee, a series of workshops scheduled for November with final approval of the 2022 budget scheduled for November 19th.