Despite passing Augusta budget work isn’t finished

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Mayor Hardie Davis says city leaders had a job to do and got it done.

The budget has been passed that was the goal on yesterday obviously there’s more conversation that will take place as we look for fluid opportunities in 2017, said Mayor Hardie Davis.

One area some commissioners say needs more conversation is the cut for Gold Cross.

The approved budget includes a 700 thousand dollar cut in the city subsidy even though many commissioners were not comfortable with size of the reduction.

“I supported it because we need to move on we had some more dealings and we’ve had some more talks with Gold Cross  I think we need to move forward with the budget best we can,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Grady Smith.

Gold Cross’s contract with the city ends in January and company officials are working to reduce the cut to the subsidy.

“We are still in negotiations phase as far as it’s my understanding we did come back with a counter proposal and we are waiting to hear back from the county,” said Gold Cross CEO Vince Brogdon.

“Do you want to share what your counter proposal is?”

“Not at this time,” said Brogdon.

“Gold Cross wants to come and sit down at the table we will have the right people in those conversations and we will get to an agreement that we can all support,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.

Though some commissioners feel the 700 dollar cut should not have been in the budget in the first place.

“We have a 29 percent indigent care now the taxpayers are going to see their ambulance rates go up obviously they’re saying we’re going to continue discussions with them they had six votes to pass the budget they have six votes not to put it back in,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

City Administrators say they found 180 thousand dollars in new revenues opening the doors for commissioners to reconsider the cuts to the health department, and the CSRA alliance for Fort Gordon.

Commissioners also did not approve an increase in garbage rates for  but since garbage fees go on property tax bills a  there is time for commissioners to reconsider that for next year.

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