Bus system might get TEE Center's $350,000

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Augusta Public Transit could get a little help from the delayed TEE Center.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham has suggested that money earmarked for operating the trade, exhibit and event center be temporarily used to help the transit system's strained budget since the Reynolds Street project will likely not begin for another year.

APT would get the $350,000 from transportation and tourism fees originally allocated for operating the TEE Center, Mr. Brigham said.

He suggested that the funds go toward offsetting money that would have come from the general fund to address the transit system's deficit. The proposal, recommended in a committee meeting Monday, is expected to be voted on by commissioners at next week's meeting.

"Why would we want to take money and put it in the bank when we could use it to offset our shortfall in the transit system?" he asked. "It doesn't solve the transit problems, but at least it does provide some cash on a temporary basis."

The TEE Center was planned for completion by 2010.

The fee, which is a $1 per room, per night fee charged to hotel occupants, is projected to raise $1.1 million by April, Mr. Brigham said. Originally, $750,000 was planned to go toward revitalization of historic neighborhoods; $350,000 would have gone toward the TEE Center; and the rest would support the transit system, said Rob Sherman, the city license and inspection director.

Fee collection has accumulated $460,014 since April and is projected to accrue $814,953 by year's end, he said. At that time, the TEE Center fees will help add $260,785 to the transit system's budget, he said.

Heyward Johnson, the director of APT, said he expects the system's financial woes to continue.

APT loses about $1.5 million each year, he said, and changes will likely still be needed to help with the shortfall.

"One of the commissioners has recommended that we raise the fees in some way, so I do believe that will still happen," Mr. Johnson said.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

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Reality
3
Points
Reality 09/10/08 - 04:24 am
0
0
Good point, why put it in the

Good point, why put it in the bank, spend it as fast as you can...I wonder if he runs his personal finances the same way.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 09/10/08 - 05:08 am
0
0
Let's take that money and

Let's take that money and have everyone ride the busses free for a few days.....wait we already did that.

paulwheeler
137
Points
paulwheeler 09/10/08 - 06:44 am
0
0
it's extremely rare that a

it's extremely rare that a public transit system operate with a surplus. However they are a necessary evil, and if something ever happens that I can't provide my own transportation I hope it will be there for me. Having said that, this "TEE" center thing has been nothing but a political money pit from day one, with only dubious promises for results. At least some good is coming out of it, money to help support the transit system.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 09/10/08 - 06:56 am
0
0
The operation of Augusta

The operation of Augusta Public Transportation has received a lot of exposure since the revelation of free rides to Hotel/Motel guests and impersonators. I did see that signs were posted on the bus, but are they working? Another question I have yet to seen answered is if and why long-term residents of hotels/Motels receive the free rides. Also, has any more checking been done to see how many free rides are being given away? And last, but not least, all the fare boxes were reported as being broken - have they been fixed?

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 09/10/08 - 08:02 am
0
0
Why not raise the fees $.10

Why not raise the fees $.10 to help offset and do away with the free rides. If I stayed in a motel I would hire a cab or rent a car.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 09/10/08 - 08:23 am
0
0
Oh wonderful.. take money
Unpublished

Oh wonderful.. take money from tax payers that agreed to the tax for a specific purpose and use it for something else. That makes sense (not).

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 09/10/08 - 08:41 am
0
0
WW1949: When Mr. Johnson

WW1949: When Mr. Johnson first raised the problem of not having enough money to pay for diesel fuel at an Augusta-Richmond County Commission Meeting , raising the fare from $1.00 to $1.25 was "discussed." As far as I know, that is as far as it got.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 09/10/08 - 09:02 am
0
0
paulwheeler: I agree that

paulwheeler: I agree that public transportation systems "are a necessary evil" and that "it's extremely rare that a public transit system operates with a surplus." But in the part of Augusta-Richmond County where I live there IS NO public transportation system. I pay taxes and support the Augusta Public Transportation system which IS NOT there for me or many other residents of Richmond County. They even cut out the bus service to Fort Gordon which would encourage soldiers and their families to go places like downtown or the mall.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 09/10/08 - 09:11 am
0
0
I have a question. Is the fee

I have a question. Is the fee of $1 per room per night charged only to Augusta hotel/motel occupants, or is it also charged to Richmond County hotel/motel occupants? e.g. The Western Motel is in Augusta at 3054 Deans Bridge Road, and the Executive Suites Inn is in Richmond County at 3682 Deans Bridge Road. (3054 is on an AT bus route, 3682 is not)

Farful
7
Points
Farful 09/10/08 - 09:46 am
0
0
good idea, Jerry

good idea, Jerry

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 09/10/08 - 10:22 am
0
0
Progress on TEE Center:

Progress on TEE Center: NONE
Progress in Augusta: Dead Stop
Playing "Hide the Money": Full Speed Ahead
Taxpayers/voters being taken for a ride: Again and Again
Hold on everyone, the Augusta Amusement Park Ride known as the County Commission, is fully operational. Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride as we circle the toilet bowl!

realistineducation
0
Points
realistineducation 09/10/08 - 10:27 am
0
0
the entire augusta richmond

the entire augusta richmond county commission should be impeached, what a bunch of morons.
they can't work together, because of racial and ecosocial factors, and everyone has their own agenda.
we should elect people who work for the people,
get these stupid ediots out of office,

What4
0
Points
What4 09/10/08 - 11:21 am
0
0
Raise the fees to ride the

Raise the fees to ride the bus>>DUH??

devilishlymad67
0
Points
devilishlymad67 09/10/08 - 01:53 pm
0
0
Shut down the system or raise

Shut down the system or raise the fares, the majority of the riders recieve plenty of freebies already

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 09/10/08 - 01:58 pm
0
0
Drop the free rides for Hotel

Drop the free rides for Hotel guest.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 09/10/08 - 01:58 pm
0
0
I distinctly remember the

I distinctly remember the director of tourism stating years ago that the TEE center would bring in at least $4000 every day(of course he didn't say per day he just gave a yearly figure). If this is so why are we programming funds for it anyway, it should pay for itself or be cancelled! I firmly believe that if something is built it should stand on its own legs or be tossed out! By the way as working class citizens do you think a bus system or a jazzy visitor center will improve your life?

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 09/10/08 - 04:02 pm
0
0
I proposed the .25 increase

I proposed the .25 increase in the fare and it wasn't well received. I will bring it up again.
As for the idea to transfer the TEE center management funds to tranist, it is a great burden off the taxpayers back.
The money would have otherwise gone unused and designated for TEE center operations which won't begin for 2-3 years.

Jerry should be championed for this concept. If you remember he wanted 750k a year of this $1 fee given to offset the cost of transit.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 09/10/08 - 04:02 pm
0
0
I proposed the .25 increase

I proposed the .25 increase in the fare and it wasn't well received. I will bring it up again.
As for the idea to transfer the TEE center management funds to tranist, it is a great burden off the taxpayers back.
The money would have otherwise gone unused and designated for TEE center operations which won't begin for 2-3 years.

Jerry should be championed for this concept. If you remember he wanted 750k a year of this $1 fee given to offset the cost of transit.

Son of God
0
Points
Son of God 09/11/08 - 12:59 am
0
0
Well, Jesus is here right now

Well, Jesus is here right now turning over the money tables inside and outside of churches and everywhere. The thing is, evil is DEATH and THE MISUSE OF MONEY IS EVIL AND SO IS THE LOVE OF IT. Do not lay your treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt but lay your treasures in HEAVEN where ETERNAL LIFE IS FREE. READ and MEDITATE on DEUTERONOMY 32:39 SEE NOW THAT I (GOD) EVEN I AM HE AND THERE IS NO OTHER god WITH ME. I (GOD) KILL AND I (GOD) MAKE ALIVE;I WOUND AND I HEAL: NEITHER IS THER ANY THAT CAN DELIVER YOU OUT OF MY HAND. God knows about the transit system, the holding up of the monies from the needy, etc. It is ALL in HIS (GOD)plan. His (GOD) ways are not our ways and his (GOD) thoughts are noy our thoughts. High as the Heavens are from the Earth so are his ways from our ways and his thoughts from out thoughts. We need tp prepare for ETERNITY. JESUS IS SOON TO COME! GOD will take care of his children. We need to believe.Our lives were planned before the foundation of the world by GOD. We must learn to call those things that are NOT as though they already WERE. Be Blessed and BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT. We are wrestling with principalities.

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