City department heads are asking for millions in SPLOST 7

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News12 at six o'clock/ Feb. 10, 2014

Augusta,Ga (WRDW)----Augusta's wish list for the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is more than $700 million right now.

It'll take a lot of pennies to reach that number.
Commissioners are trying to narrow the list down to just $200 million dollars. Three departments alone are requesting more than $180 million.

"The main thing we're doing now is trying to dwindle down to $500 million," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

Augusta's 911 department is requesting between $5 and $11 million. The Fire Department wants $18 million and the Engineering department would like $159 million.

"If you don't have the funds then you can't complete the project," said Engineering Department Director Abie Ladson.

Some of the projects include improving Broad Street, Tree Removal and $9 million to continuing buying up land in Hyde Park.

"Hyde Park is more than one project. You still have to work with drainage improvement projects. It's the reason why you have the big amount," said Ladson.

Augusta Fire chief Chris James wants millions to replace an old fire station and build two more. James also wants to buy 18 new firetrucks.

"It's what we think we need based on the age of our fleet. as the vehicles becomes 10 or 12 years old, it becomes time to replace them,"said James.

The city's 911 department would put millions into upgrading their building. They could spend even more to buy a new building.
The commission wants the overall number of projects cut.

"Our staff will go back to department heads and asking them to prioritize their list to move back down towards that range, " said Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

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