City Administrator recommending cuts to balanced 2017 budget

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Commission Finance committee Chairman Wayne Guilfoyle did not see City Administrator Janice Jackson’s budget recommendations before she presented them to the commission Tuesday after he wasn’t all that pleased at what he saw.

“If we don’t learn to stay within our revenues we’re going to be in a world of hurt in the future,” said Guilfoyle.

City Administrator Janice Jackson telling commissioners the city is already feeling some pain in next year’s budget.

“She said there will be no new programs in 17 tossing out ten million dollars in requests from department heads.

Jackson said health care costs are going up but its expected sales tax revenues will continue to drop by more than one million dollars.

“We’re seeing less revenues with different things that happen with the state so we’ve had to make a lot of adjustments I think we will continue to have to as long as we’re still providing the same services to our taxpayers then I’m ok with a budget that’s not showing any new programs right now,” said Commissioner Mary Davis.

Jackson did not recommend a tax increase to balance next year’s budget but is recommending a 950 thousand dollar cut to existing program likely to impact service to taxpayers.

“There are concerns but I’m sure I have the faith we can work everything out to be beneficial to all the citizens you know times are hard everywhere,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

To help balance the budget Jackson is s recommending an increase in some alcohol and other licensing fees.

A 700 thousand dollar cut to the ambulance contract,

And cutting the number of city vehicles   by five percent to reduce maintenance costs.

The city pays its private contractor for every vehicle in the fleet, whether it’s driven one mile or 100 thousand miles.

 

After a series of work sessions next year’s budget is scheduled to be approved November 15th.

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