CVB funding proposal will face opposition

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Augusta, Ga (WJBF) An increase in spending is recommended in the city administrator’s 2022 budget proposal, something commissioners are looking at closely. 

“There’s a lot of questions that we still have to work through some of the items the administrator presented in his proposed budget raised some eyebrows,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.  

 Some of the proposals include six million dollars for streetlights, that’s an issue commissioners have been discussing for years. 

 One million dollars for parks and greenspace maintenance, the city’s appearance is also   an issue.  

 And 750 thousand dollars for the Convention and Visitors Bureau to make Augusta a global tourist destination.  

“Tourism really is an investment it generates dollars; it does not necessarily take dollars and just bury them it really provides dividends,” said Convention and Visitors Bureau President and Chief Executive Bennish Brown. 

 Commissioners just learning about the CVB funding recommendation this week, and some are not giving it a warm welcome.   

“Absolutely not. I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about that although I appreciate what they do,” said Commissioner John Clarke. 

 “Augusta is Augusta This is one of those line items where we give them something, not necessarily give them everything,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.  

 “I like to think we can make the case to support what’s been recommended so that’s the challenge I’m willing to take on,” said Brown.  

 In Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6. 

Brown points out that a lot of the CVB’s funding comes from hospitality taxes. 

He says those revenues suffered greatly during the pandemic. 

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