City Administrator presents options for balancing budget

City Administrator Fred Russell has presented the Augusta Commission with an option that balances the 2010 without a tax increase.

 

The plan involves $4.3 million in expenditure reductions, including $500,000 from the sheriff's office and $500,000 in prisoner costs due to a decrease in prison population. The Recreation department would no longer fund First Friday events to save $25,000.

The option also includes furloughing all city employees - including elected officials - for four days in September, October, November and December for a savings of $814,000.

Mr. Russell also wants the commission to look into privatizing the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, and his new plan only provides funding for "the Patch" for six months at $155,200.

Mr. Russell also advised commissioners to continue pursuing an eighth-penny Municipal Option Sales Tax, or MOST, which if enacted quickly could generate $9 million next year and plug the 2010 budget's original $8.6 million shortfall.

His new option, however, balances the budget even without a new sales tax.

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