Originally created 06/19/03

Alliance survives despite fund cut



A shortfall in Augusta tax revenue hasn't hurt a group working to protect Fort Gordon, an official said.

In late April, Augusta officials approved doling out $100,000 over two years to the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. Some of the money, $25,000, was to come from Augusta Regional Airport.

Airport officials told the city in late May, however, that federal law prevented the $25,000 for use in nonaviation related activities.

"When we got approval for the $100,000, we understood that we would only take it down as an as-needed basis," Larry DeMeyers, the chairman of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, said Wednesday.

A disbursement of $25,000 from the Augusta government, which was given a few weeks ago, is being used for operational expenses for the alliance, he said.

Augusta Administrator George Kolb said there has been talk of providing $25,000 worth of "in-kind" services from the city for the group, but there are no solid plans as of yet.

"We're going to work with the Fort Gordon alliance group and make sure they're OK. We'll do what we have to," Mr. Kolb said.

Mr. DeMeyers said he is not terribly worried about the shortfall.

"It's not a big problem from my standpoint right now, because we're only taking it in installments," he said.

Mr. DeMeyers said the majority of the at least $1.2 million the alliance hopes to raise will come from private sources.

Meanwhile, Mr. DeMeyers said, the alliance has established offices at the Riverfront Center in downtown Augusta.

The alliance is also looking over a contract with a potential consulting company that will help the Augusta area through the Base Realignment and Closure process, Mr. DeMeyers said.

He would not name the company.

"We'll probably have a decision within a week or so," Mr. DeMeyers said.

WHAT'S NEXT:

The CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon will continue to raise money during the summer and will later name a consultant for the group.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.