AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- The Augusta Port Authority is looking for money for property repairs and projects but say Augusta Commissioners aren’t giving them access to it.
There are a lot of questions about where the Augusta Port Authority’s money comes from and where that money is. Port Authority leaders say they believe they have tens of thousands of dollars allocated to the organization.
The Port Authority is a recreational organization and they say they need the funds to make repairs and upgrades to their property and to host river front events. They claim to make their own money through leasing property, but they aren’t seeing those funds.
“If that is Augusta Port Authority’s property, why is the rent from it going to Richmond County Recreation? And a lot of events down here– the iron man, the regatta, we don’t see any of those funds,” said Clarence Thompkins, Chairman of the Augusta Port Authority.
Commissioners say they don’t know if the organization has money or where it is.
District 8 Commissioner Brandon Garrett confirmed the Augusta Port Authority is under the umbrella of the city– specifically Parks and Recreation.
He says he has asked for any records the city has relating to the agency and was told they couldn’t find any.
“We’re trying to piece together what has really taken place over the last few years. Clarence hasn’t been in this position very long and so as he’s coming to us and having these discussions. Some of us are really trying to wrap our heads around what has actually been going on. And where is this money if the money is actually supposed to be there or not,” explained Garrett.
NewsChannel 6 sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the city’s open records office about budgeting and finances for the Augusta Port Authority.
They responded saying they do not have any documents relating to the Port Authority and that the organization is a separate entity from the City of Augusta.
Photojournalist: Will Baker.