Augusta send-off cost city $48,000

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Although some Augusta taxpayers might grumble about the cost of the James Brown's send-off at the James Brown Arena on Saturday, Mayor Deke Copenhaver says it was a great investment.

Brown  File/Staff
File/Staff
Brown

"The positive worldwide media attention that this brought to Augusta will have a long-term economic impact that will far outweigh the cost to the city," he said.

"Saturday's service showed Augusta in a positive light to countries throughout the world. Augusta was on the front page of every major newspaper in the world for paying fitting tribute to the Godfather of Soul."

And that service, which cost a little more than $48,000, brought thousands of visitors to Augusta and will bring more in days to come to affect the local economy, Mr. Copenhaver said.

The mayor said he doesn't think many people in Augusta understand what is coming to the city when the movie about Mr. Brown is released. He sees Augusta blossoming with live music halls.

"The poetic irony is that that type of attention for Augusta is what he wanted all along," he said. "He wanted to see Augusta become a live music center."

Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority Chairman Harry Moore agrees with Mr. Copenhaver that the positive image of Augusta seen around the world will probably pay off.

"I realize it's taxpayers' money, but I have had legislators and many other people call, telling me what a great job we did," Mr. Moore said. "But there are some others out there questioning the cost to taxpayers, and they are correct."

Mr. Moore said he has some questions himself about the costs.

"I do have some questions about it because in the beginning it was just the use of the building, but then they realized we'd have to have some people there," he said.

City Administrator Fred Russell also said Augusta benefitted from the exposure and the weekend surge in the local economy. One particular hotel that normally has about 60 rooms rented had 100 rented during the weekend, he said.

Overtime pay for deputies will be paid from unfilled positions in the sheriff's department, said Col. Gary Powell.

Overtime pay for Recreation Department employees and food costs for deputies and all employees will be paid for from a special events account and from Mr. Russell's budget, Mr. Russell said.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

GRAND TOTAL: $48,311.13

A look at the breakdown of the cost to Augusta taxpayers for James Brown's funeral:

CITY TOTAL $39,142.14
Overtime for 117 deputies $33,891.99
Overtime for marshals $2,477.71
Overtime for Recreation Department staff
and food costs for deputies and city employees
$2,772.44
COLISEUM AUTHORITY TOTAL $9,168.99
House labor $6,284.00
Union costs $2,384.99
Utilities $500.00
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LMS2005
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LMS2005 01/05/07 - 03:22 am
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With the city budget in such

With the city budget in such shambles, where did this money come from. While Augusta may "profit" in the long run, I feel that the money spent was excessive.

EdithPiaf
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EdithPiaf 01/05/07 - 07:01 am
0
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Who cares how much it cost?

Who cares how much it cost? It was money well spent. There was no cost to the public for entry to The James Brown Arena for this event. It's better to have spent the tax payers money like this rather than send Marion Williams & Co. to Hawaii!

september 5th
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september 5th 01/05/07 - 07:41 am
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james brown had money and

james brown had money and insurance...the city should not pay for his funeral unless the city is willing to pay for the funerals of all its citizens..and about the food cost..how many of us work on jobs that pay for our lunch? the workers should pay for their own food..and about the future movie deal..that movie will be done in hollywood with a few live shots of augusta...deke is just like he appears...in a fog!

jebko
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jebko 01/05/07 - 07:50 am
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Union Cost? Don't members of

Union Cost? Don't members of a union pay a monthly membership? Now we have to pay a union to use a public facility!

eloveringjr
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eloveringjr 01/05/07 - 07:56 am
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The cost does not bother me.

The cost does not bother me. Augusta should be able to recover the cost 10 times over a homest hard working person will put on the James Brown Music Festival.

shalimar54
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shalimar54 01/05/07 - 08:02 am
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The city of Augusta owes

The city of Augusta owes James Brown much more than what it cost for his services.He gave this area so much love giving to the less fortunate in our area.He also saved the city the great loss of life and damages during the riots in Augusta.He pleaded with his people and our people to think,instead of react.

Pistol
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Pistol 01/05/07 - 08:26 am
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Mayor Deke may get a rude

Mayor Deke may get a rude awakening when the movie of James Brown hits the streets. Depending on who is making the movie and what slant they want to put on it could put Augusta in a very bad light. The movie may very well make Augusta look like a bigoted, Redneck town that underappreciated Mr. Brown and did everything in it's power to put him down.

sjsd17
9
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sjsd17 01/05/07 - 08:27 am
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When did the deputies start

When did the deputies start getting paid overtime? They normally get forced into "comp" time instaed of actually getting extra money in their paychecks. I certainly hope they actually get PAID for working the event.

crymeariver
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crymeariver 01/05/07 - 08:31 am
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$290.00 is what a deputy

$290.00 is what a deputy would be paid if those figures are correct. I bet you wont find one deputy with a $290.00 overtime bonus on his check. Those figures are crap. Besides, I used to work for the sorry sheriff and he allows illegal comp time, NOT OVERTIME PAY. If a deputy works special duty at a business, then the business owner is responsible for paying them a measly $15.00 per hour, not the city of Augusta. KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT AUGUSTA!!!

concernednative
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concernednative 01/05/07 - 08:32 am
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When you take into account

When you take into account simply the taxes that were paid from hotels and restaurants of the people that visitied that weekend that never would come to Augusta otherwise. Then take into account the people that will continue to visit James Brown's hometown and artists that will now perform at the arena with his namesake out of respect to his legacy; it doesn't take a CPA to figure out that 48k was a drop in the bucket for the future revenue Augusta will get. Any smart business person would gladly pay for the funeral if the city promised them all the revenue that is has gained and will gain off James Brown.

PACKINGHEAT
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PACKINGHEAT 01/05/07 - 08:35 am
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That was $48,000 well spent

That was $48,000 well spent for the image of Augusta. You couldn't buy advertising that cheaply. For those of you struggling with the idea of the city spending this money, please look at the big picture. You have to look at the return on the investment, not the investment itself. That"s basic strategy with "for profit" businesses and it works.

MyOpinion2
5
Points
MyOpinion2 01/05/07 - 08:54 am
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I agree with concernednative

I agree with concernednative and grimace some folks can't see past their noses.

CKB
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CKB 01/05/07 - 09:01 am
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Augusta owes James Brown

Augusta owes James Brown nothing. James chose to be an entertainer, just as we all have our own chosen professions. With few exceptions, most of us do our jobs with little recognition, so why should this be so different for James? Do you think our deputies who James fired gunshots towards want to thank him? They were trying to protect him while he was under drugs. The only thanks they could probably offer is thank heavens he was a bad shot and no one was hurt or killed. And can you imagine Adrianne wanting to say thank you for all of the violence and beatings she endured? Giving out toys and turkeys does not erase the harm he has caused this town. Harm is continued further when we "honor" this man with a statue, the civic center named for him as well as streets named for him. I am glad my children are not of the age where they would be influenced by these political moves. They were influenced by people who earned and deserved special respect. I do not think people who defy the law deserve such. And now, we have to endure dirty laundry being hung out for all the world to see; dysfunctional family dynamics at their best. Certainly not the most positive thing Augusta has to offer.

peonynut
2
Points
peonynut 01/05/07 - 09:14 am
0
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I wondered how long it would

I wondered how long it would take for the "economic impact" statement to come. $48,000 spent on this and Augusta can not spare the money to clean the streets or provide bus service. Where are your priorities? How much of this went into Marion's pocket?

flipa
35
Points
flipa 01/05/07 - 09:42 am
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They bait and switch us out

They bait and switch us out of our properties by teaching evilution everyday, paying for Browns funeral was a much better use of property taxes :shrug:[/

a69
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Points
a69 01/05/07 - 10:22 am
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so the deputies got $289 each

so the deputies got $289 each for working it at $15 an hour which is what a deputy gets for working specials. thats saying they worked over 19 hours something isnt right there.

backpac-bill
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Points
backpac-bill 01/05/07 - 10:34 am
0
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Deer walk, You are so right

Deer walk,
You are so right why should our tax dollars pay food cost for Deputies/Marshals/County employees or is this a new "POLICY"

backpac-bill
0
Points
backpac-bill 01/05/07 - 10:44 am
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With GREAT RESPECT to The

With GREAT RESPECT to The GodFather Of Soul,will some one please tell what he did for Augusta. He did not stop the burning of buildings in now James Brown Blvd/Laney Walker area. You can still see where business never rebuilt.Turkeys/Toys yes,but tell what else.

BlackJack7
15
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BlackJack7 01/05/07 - 10:45 am
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u narrowminded, judgemental

u narrowminded, judgemental *@^*^)*good 'ol boys and girls!!!!
this is why i left augusta!!!! bravo mayor!!!

GSneed
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GSneed 01/05/07 - 10:50 am
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Payback67, I agree with you.

Payback67, I agree with you. I am saddened at most of you for your negative opinions about this issue. Whether we like/love JB or not, the money spent was a good investment. How much of your tax dollars do you think was spent of Ford's funeral, and what do you think the return on investment (ROI) was? I too am bothered that I made the decision to move BACK to Augusta.

a69
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a69 01/05/07 - 10:51 am
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could anyone tell me me where

could anyone tell me me where Ray Charles, Otis Reddingare burried , I'm guessing that the towns they're buried in are not the top tourist places in the country

backpac-bill
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Points
backpac-bill 01/05/07 - 10:55 am
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Come on "CKB" Elvis died od

Come on "CKB" Elvis died od drug over dose but still respected by millions. The End!!!!!!!!

backpac-bill
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backpac-bill 01/05/07 - 11:06 am
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By the way bravo mayor,I'am

By the way bravo mayor,I'am BLACK and nothing has changed.Life long citizen of Augusta for the pass (58)years and will alway's be for better or worse!!!!!!!

mommyhanah
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mommyhanah 01/05/07 - 11:13 am
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The City of Augusta should be

The City of Augusta should be pleased with the decision to have spent the money for Mr. Brown's funeral. I am sure much more is spent every spring due to the Master's. James Brown DID help stop the riots in Augusta, but rebuilding was not his responsibility nor was bringing businesses back to the city. It all comes down to economics- if the benefit out weighs the cost do it and if the cost out weighs the benefit don't do it. Good job Augusta on FINALLY making a sound decision! Now, lets apply this principle to ALL areas of responsibility.

a69
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a69 01/05/07 - 11:13 am
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GSneed i know you didnt

GSneed i know you didnt compare james brown to gerald ford. i think one earned having tax payers pay for his funeral. I dont think its so much the fact that taxes paid for it but the numbers dont add up a deputy makes $15 an hour on special but they get $290 for working at the funeral thats like working 19 hours and im pretty sure the thing didnt last 19 hours tho it seemed like it with it being on every tv station.

the man
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the man 01/05/07 - 11:21 am
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Finally...money well spent.

Finally...money well spent.

mommyhanah
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mommyhanah 01/05/07 - 11:23 am
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a69, if the numbers don't

a69, if the numbers don't make since to you then question accounting and the Sheriff's office, not the fact that the city had a service for James Brown. And I do believe Mr.Ford received compensation for his service to our country so trying to say one is more deserving than the other isn't a very strong argument.

GuyIncognito
1
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GuyIncognito 01/05/07 - 11:26 am
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What a waste of money. Even

What a waste of money. Even in death, James Brown is costing Augusta more money.

mommyhanah
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mommyhanah 01/05/07 - 11:31 am
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ericmallen has a chip on his

ericmallen has a chip on his shoulder...sorry:(

zambu_glenlivet
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zambu_glenlivet 01/05/07 - 11:33 am
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I think Chris Rock said it

I think Chris Rock said it best....All White....All Right!
The truth is that James Brown is a legendary American icon. It's doesn't matter how much you closet bigots try to deny it, the world understands and respects his contribution to mankind and music. I am not saying that all whites are racist. (LOL, some of my best friends are white), but it always amazes me on how some white people can find a way to discredit any and every accomplishment or historical contribution to America or even the world. It's truly sad that so many pea-brained white Augustans continue to fight the only true local contribution to the world. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the Masters. Bobby Jones nor Cliff Roberts was from Augusta and arguments could easily be made that they were racists. James Brown could never be called a racist! I just hope that one day, before you die, you change your hearts much like George Wallace did.

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