Commission proposal would end Project Access

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) For 16 years Project Access has been a part of the city budget, getting money to run its program to provide health care to hundreds of the un-insured in Augusta, now its future is in doubt.

“I’m shocked because we did not expect that we heard no word from them as to these changes being made,” said Doctor Terrence Cook, who has been with project access since day one.

The changes before commissioners would put a cap on city funding for outside agencies at 25 thousand dollars.

“We have other things we have to pay for in city and this is all out of General Fund money, so we have to be very exclusive about what we can do and the amount we can do for out various non-profits,” says Commissioner Sammie Sias

All the funding  for Project access comes from the this year it’s budget 262- thousand dollars so a 25 thousand dollar cap would be a ninety percent cut for project access.

“That would eliminate the program basically the people we serve are in desperate need this is a life and death issue this is not a kind of any other type of issue it’s not entertainment it’s not an art form it’s life and death,” says Doctor Cook..

Commissioner Sias who is proposing the cap says it does exclude the history and Lucy Craft Laney museum and the arts council but says they help promote the city.

“The other non-profits I don’t necessarily put in that category we’ll cap all the other projects that is my proposal, said Commissioner Sias.

“Including Project Access?”

“I will not address any individual project like that,” said Sias.

Doctor Cook points out that Project Access is not a real outside agency, he says it was created by the Augusta Commission.

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