Street lights employees score in Augusta budget

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Augusta, Ga (WJBF)   Augusta commissioners putting this year’s budget season to bed approving next year’s spending plan one of the major points of next year’s budget, is something that will help Augusta see better at night.  

 It is a commission budget priority, public safety, and the 2022 budget includes six million dollars to light up Augusta. 

“It helps the safety of the community, it’s something the public can see and understand and see where their tax dollars are going,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.  

 The six-million-dollars using Rescue Act funds will cover the costs of putting in new streetlights and fill in the deficit in the current streetlight fund through next year.  

 But The way streetlights are paid for comes up 100’s of thousands of dollars short of the cost to operating them.  and the cost will go up with every new streetlight installed.  

 “We’re pulling money previously from the general reserve funds to make it all equal out, but I think in the future we need to come up with a viable solution,” said Mayor Pro-Ten Bobby Williams 

 “Do we have a way to pay for lights in the future that we are going to light up? 

 That’s a problem isn’t it,” said Commissioner John Clarke.  

 But the 2022 budget isn’t a problem for city workers, it includes millions for funding a new higher minimum wage, and retention bonuses, and salary increases for hundreds of workers. 

 “The city workforce did seem to get a lot out of it, I didn’t understand that completely, I don’t think any questions I asked were answered sufficiently,” said Commissioner Clarke.  

“They’re giving people raises we have to have quality leadership quality employees in order to make our community successful,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

One area that will be benefiting is unexpected city expenses, next year’s contingency fund more than one point three million dollars this year it was 600 thousand dollars in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6. 

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