What Augusta can expect in 2007

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January 1, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---This first day of the year marks the start of many changes in Augusta.

News 12 has a look at what lies ahead in 2007 and how it will affect you.

In 2006, James Brown, the city's budget, and elections were all big issues in Augusta.

While we can't predict the future, we can look ahead at some things that will likely happen in 2007.

With a new year, Augusta must get ready for big changes...starting in local government.

As Mayor Deke Copenhaver begins his first full term, five commissioners will say goodbye in 2007...including Marion Williams and Andy Cheek.

So expect issues like the drag strip and the clean up of Hyde Park to be pushed harder than ever.

2007 brings changes for Augusta's transit service. Because of new budget cuts, riders will now have to wait longer for buses to come.

The tight budget also means at least 30 city jobs will be cut this year.

And the funeral for James Brown brought a crowd downtown like Augusta's never seen. In '07, city leaders say we should expect to see the Godfather receive new recognition, possibly in the form of a museum.

"People are going to get a chance to come to Augusta and see some things before and they are going to want to come back to Augusta," said Commissioner Williams.

And a new year wouldn't be complete without new faces. David Roper steps in as superior court judge. Columbia County will name a replacement for outgoing superintendent Tommy Price and Richmond County begins their search to replace retired superintendent Dr. Charles Larke.

Augusta also has several new lawmakers heading to the state capital next week: Gloria Frazier, Hardee Davis, Wayne Howard, and Barbara Sims. We'll see if their presence brings any progress.

So there's a lot ahead for Augusta in 2007, and of course there'll be plenty of surprises.