No Storm Fee Puts Augusta Budget Out Of Whack

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Augusta,GA

It maybe a drop in an otherwise big budget but not having storm water fee in place is forcing the city to fill a 200 thousand dollar a month hole in the city budget.

“Our budget is always a rolling budget that sometimes needs to be adjusted through the year so if we have to do that to make up for that revenue then that’s what we will look at,” says Commissioner Mary Davis.

Back in December commissioners looked to the storm fee to help balance the budget.

To offset more than one point two million dollars in salaries being paid by the general fund,

But after months the storm water fee is still not approved, but the expected revenue from it is still in the budget.

“Shouldn’t have been proposed that way before my time to look at it and balance the budget that wasn’t in place I just didn’t think it was the right act at the time,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom, who wasn’t on the board when the budget was approved.

Now city leaders will need to act to get the budget back in balance.

“We’re going to make some adjustments as I said two weeks ago this is a proper time to make an amendment to the 2015 budget we will make that amendment we will adopt it then we will move forward,” says Mayor Hardie Davis.

But some commissioners believe the budget adjustment should not have to be made because the storm water fee should never have been in the budget to begin with.

“That’s the reason I could not support this budget,” says Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle who chairs the Finance Committee.

“Today is July first it’s suppose to be in place now.”

“You’re right that is something the administrator pushed that was her recommendation and the body went for it now the entire body but the majority,” said Guilfoyle.

Finance officials say they will present a budget proposal to make up for not having the storm water fee at the next finance committee which is July 14th.

But the mayor expects the fee to be approved within the next two week, even though some commissioners want to wait until after the sales tax is voted on in November.

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