AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) – It has become Riverwalk versus barbecue pit, and some commissioners say it’s no contest.
“I’ve never heard somebody come to Augusta and say hey, ‘I’m going to the Julian Smith Barbecue Pit.’ But I do hear people say I visited Riverwalk,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
Back in April, the Recreation Department Director recommended $700,000 in already approved Rescue Act funds for improvements at Riverwalk.
But last week, the department changed direction saying the renovations at the Barbeque pit are over budget so he recommended diverting the Riverwalk money to the Barbeque pit.
“I’m fine with that because you have a whole lot of things to do you have a little bit amount of money to do it with,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.
But there is even more money needed for Recreation projects.
Commissioners approved $6.5 million for a new Brigham Community Center, but the bids came back at over $8 million so another $1.6 million will be needed.
“We got that extra – well I don’t call it extra – but $10 million from ARP (American Rescue Plan) that we’ll need to look at,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.
There are more than $10 million in Rescue Act funds unassigned so should some of those dollars go to the Brigham Center?
“I don’t want to touch them. There are going to be times coming up we’re going to need that money,” says Garrett.
Commissioners are scheduled to get a list of needed work at the barbecue pit and Riverwalk as they decide which one to fund.