Originally created 09/15/06

Augusta Commission

WHO: Augusta Commission

WHAT: 2007 Budget Work Session

WHAT WAS DISCUSSED: Commissioners and City Administrator Fred Russell talked about ways to generate more revenue for the city. Richmond County Correctional Institute Warden Robert Leverette and Public Services Director Mike Greene outlined plans to cut their budgets for next year.

Proposals to increase revenue included charging residents and businesses who have more than one or two false alarms, pursuing a stormwater management plan - more commonly known as a rain tax to offset the costs of maintaining ditches, storm drains and retention ponds - and capping the amount of money the coliseum authority received in hotel-motel tax revenues.

Proposals to cut the correctional institute budget by 7.5 percent include transferring eight correctional officer work detail supervisors to public services and eliminating one mid-level manager to cut $352,150.

Public services would cut $1.01 million from the budget by eliminating 15 full-time positions, 10 of them currently vacant, and six temporary positions. Included in the filled positions are two of the three assistant directors who oversee facilities, maintenance and trees and landscape.

The cuts would mean delayed response time for work requests, less preventative maintenance, less grass-cutting on public rights-of-way, less vacant-lot cleanup and fewer potholes filled.

Mr. Russell said that was the dilemma city officials face.

"We've already cut the fluff, but now you're down to the point you've got to decide who goes home and who stays," he said. "You can't continue to have it both ways."

Another proposal to cut the budget came from Commissioner Joe Bowles, who said the simplest way to narrow the $7.8 million budget deficit would be to rescind 3 percent of the 8 percent pay raises commissioners approved for city employees last year, saving $2.6 million.


- Compiled By Sylvia Cooper, staff writer


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