Augusta street light fee increase proposed

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Street lights are   an important part of neighborhood safety   but the fund to pay for all these lights isn’t bright at all.

“With the current situation they have to somehow rework the dollars in the budget and make sure we pay the street light bill but they can’t keep borrowing money from Peter to pay Paul it’s something we have to address,” said John Ussery, the City Traffic Engineer.

City leaders holding this work session to address the shortage in the street light budget.

Finance Director Donna Williams telling city leaders the fees needed to cover the costs paying will not add up this year.

“You’re going to come up short if all things go as exactly as planned of about $425 thousand dollars, Williams told Commissioners.

This on top of the more than 440 thousand dollars deficit last year leaving the street light fund more than 860 thousand dollar in the hole.

“To build up the fund and increase to those who pay it?”

That’s one of the suggestions,” said Ussery.

And it’s one of the suggestions city leaders now are considering, a 15 dollar increase for all residential customer to make up the two years of losses

“We’ll see what happens next week we’ll continue to talk to see if we have any other options but they pretty much made it seem like we didn’t have any other options,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.

Commercial customers could see a 30 dollar increase, Engineers say the fees haven’t been adjusted for inflation in 20 years, so if they are to be adjusted now to make up the shortfall commissioners are being urged to act fast.

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