Monday, Aug. 18, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Can you put a price on the safety for a city? An Augusta Commissioner doesn't seem to think so.
This comes on the heels of Sheriff Roundtree asking for more than a $1 million extra in the 2015 budget.
We're told the money will go towards raises for deputies.
"What is the price of safety," said Commissioner Grady Smith.
According to city records, in 2013 Augusta spent more than $57 million and that's the budget for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
In 2015, Sheriff Richard Roundtree hopes it could go up by more than $1 million to give his deputies a pay raise.
"I don't think you can put a price on safety," said homeowner Carmen Burdett.
"I think public safety is important. I think you got to have well paid public servants from cops, teachers and firefighters. We always try to under fund them," said Former Augusta Native Julian Adams.
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle says he wants to fund an increase for deputies.
Guifoyle wants the city to charge all non-profits including churches a fee for street lights and garbage.
He's also wants to cut the Marshal's office budget. The Marshals serve warrants and secure government buildings like the municipal building.
Guilfoyle says this is really overlaps with services deputies provide every day.
"I think what you have to look at is there an overlapping services that could be cut. It's where we could save money," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
Before city leaders can talk about raises for deputies in 2015, they have to approve the 2014 budget. News 12 is still working to verify numbers the RCSO gave us on how many deputies have left in the last three years. We'll share the information as soon as it becomes available.