Government

More News | | | Editor

Budget cuts might close Augusta swimming pools

  • Follow Government

Among the options as the Augusta Commission makes tough budget cuts in 2012 is the closing of three outdoor city swimming pools, Recreation Director Tom Beck said Friday.

Closing the Dyess, Fleming and Jones pools would reduce the recreation budget by about $130,000, Beck said.

According to budget documents approved by the commission last month, all departments must make percentage reductions on a sliding scale. The recreation department, among the city's largest, is expected to trim 4.25 percent, or $369,087, so additional cuts are likely.

The city's indoor Aquatics Center will remain open, Beck said. He said closing outdoor pools might be a better option for recreation because the facilities are open only during the summer, compared with closing community centers that are open all year.

Closing the pools is just one of the options Beck and other department heads have provided City Administrator Fred Russell for making budget cuts of between 1 and 4.25 percent.

Russell has said he'll begin presenting his recommendations for making the cuts at Tuesday's commission meeting.

The percentage cuts, totaling $2.8 million, aren't the only reductions Russell is looking for in the 2012 budget.

The plan approved by the commission also includes eliminating as many as 34 of the city's 2,690 employees.

Russell declined to comment Friday on where he’ll recommend making the cuts, but has said all areas might be targeted.

Recreation, which took on facilities, landscape and other maintenance functions when Russell eliminated the city's public services department earlier this year, already is down to its bare bones, Beck said.

The department had to eliminate support for the Augusta Boxing Club, which found another sponsor, and will turn over Augusta Municipal
Golf Course to a private manager.

Scottish businessman Brian Hendry’s lease of the city-owned course begins Jan. 1.

Tom Walters became the first Augusta golfer to sign up for an annual membership Friday, the same day the course's new Web site went live, Hendry said.

Comments (14) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
monkey165
0
Points
monkey165 12/16/11 - 11:55 pm
0
0
How about doing away with

How about doing away with maintaining Pendleton King Park? The city does not own this park but they do pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the park.

They pay all the utilities in the park plus pay the utilities for a city worker to stay in the house (lights, telephone, gas, etc.) Plus they get the same salary as anyone in the the same position but with the extra perks thrown in.

They also do the same thing for the Lock by the airport.

Anyway it is something to look at.

Dipshot
-5
Points
Dipshot 12/17/11 - 12:19 am
0
0
Isn't the mayor getting

Isn't the mayor getting someone added to his staff at around $100,000 a year? Does that make any sense. Why would the city be adding new staff when it is having to cut all of these people? $100,000 may not close the entire gap but it would help out.

raul
5347
Points
raul 12/17/11 - 01:57 am
0
0
@Monkey. Who owns Pendleton

@Monkey. Who owns Pendleton King Park? I thought the city did.

seenitB4
91139
Points
seenitB4 12/17/11 - 07:02 am
0
0
We will see some protests

We will see some protests over this by golly..

corgimom
34681
Points
corgimom 12/17/11 - 08:20 am
0
0
Sure, close down more

Sure, close down more recreation for kids. That gives them more time to get in trouble.

But give Deke an additional $100,000 to ram an unwanted- oops, I mean, educate Augustans as to why they NEED a baseball stadium, that poor people can't afford to go to.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 12/17/11 - 08:24 am
0
0
I wonder just what the budget
Unpublished

I wonder just what the budget for the three outdoor pools and the one indoor pool? Our commissioners have a way of presenting data that makes it impossible to determine where the bucks are going and why. It is hard for me to believe that 3 summer pools cost $140,000 to operate. I also wonder why if thwe indoor costs as much to operate as the three outdoor ones. Further, I wonder what programs the apparently $8,684,400 recreation budget actually pays for. Maybe it is time to start charging a nominal fee for use at these facilities. And please don't tell me people can't afford it. I see them walking around with cell phones, fancy nail jobs, beauty (hahaha) shop treatments and buying lottery tickets by the handsfull. In fact why don't we have an entrance fee equal to one lottery ticket cost just to enter a rec facility?

fatboyhog
2025
Points
fatboyhog 12/17/11 - 09:09 am
0
0
madgerman...are you

madgerman...are you serious??? Make them PAY???? Why, I never!!!! Don't you know that the "less fortunate" are entitled to FREE swimming pools! If you charge them a few dollars, then they will have to choose between buying more lottery tickets (or other "necessary" stuff) or going to the pool. How dare you insinuate that they have to pay for something and make responsible decisions. You are heartless and cruel!

JRC2024
9430
Points
JRC2024 12/17/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
madgerman, I would imagine

madgerman, I would imagine insurance would be very expensive. Maybe drop the insurance and make each person entering along with a fee sign a statement that if they drown or get hurt running or hurt for any reason that all medical bills are their responsibility and that they wave their right to sue forever. Fatboy you are funny but I agree with you 1000%.

ftoole
0
Points
ftoole 12/17/11 - 02:50 pm
0
0
Well the sad thing is with a

Well the sad thing is with a person under 18 a waiver is worthless. A gardian can't sign away the rights of a minor. Also a minor can't sign them away. All their good for is keeping decent people from sueing. Not some less fortuanate trying to get an extra buck and an ambulance chasing lawyer.

bumblebeerose
684
Points
bumblebeerose 12/17/11 - 10:00 pm
0
0
My family is not on welfare

My family is not on welfare and my child is in programs offered by the Recreation Department and we pay full price for her. It would be a shame to lose programs and staff there. Our children do not have enough things in this area to do now that will keep them out of trouble. There has to be others ways to balance a budget. Where did the lost money come from that Fred Russell gave out for raises a while back (out of the coming years budget). How do you lose money and then it turns up and just give raises knowing you could have held that money and used it later to help balance the budget. Lets all vote Fred Russell out and get someone new in his job that can do it and do fair and right.

monkey165
0
Points
monkey165 12/18/11 - 10:27 am
0
0
@Raul. Go to

@Raul. Go to PendletonKingParkdotcom for info.
Really, if the city is in such need of money then why at this time does the city hold on to it? Close this facilility and place the employees in a position where they are justifiably needed.

@Bumblebeerose. You can not vote Russell out he is not an elected official, he will have to be discharged by the commission.

bumblebeerose
684
Points
bumblebeerose 12/18/11 - 10:51 am
0
0
Look I know Russell is not an

Look I know Russell is not an elected official but it would be nice if we could vote him out. The commission does not have the guts to stand together to get rid him.

ftoole
0
Points
ftoole 12/18/11 - 03:09 pm
0
0
Well then vote out the

Well then vote out the commission. They are the ones standing behind russell.

raul
5347
Points
raul 12/18/11 - 09:08 pm
0
0
@monkey. Thanks for the

@monkey. Thanks for the website for Pendleton King Park. Very interesting history. All news to me.

monkey165
0
Points
monkey165 12/19/11 - 10:08 am
0
0
@Bumblebeerose - Understood,

@Bumblebeerose - Understood, it would be nice. Wish the commission votes were decided at large. Maybe we could get the commission to act upon the best intrest of the city and not just for their districts. Seems to me it just keeps Augusta divided.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Search of alleged dealer's home found drugs, firearms

An Augusta man who alleged sheriff's officers have used illegal steroids, some for years, came to the attention of a Richmond County Sheriff's narcotics officer twice, according to an ...
Search Augusta jobs