Some Commissioners stand behind SPLOST

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Friday, May 9, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Commissioner Bill Fennoy was the only black city leader in attendance the day the Commission voted on the SPLOST package.

There were only six Commissioners there so it made everyone's vote important. Some city leaders believe Commissioner Fennoy was the deciding vote.

"I didn't want millions of dollars before I supported the package. I think it's important that the arts be supported," Fennoy said. "The purpose for the $6 million was to honor the late Godfater of Soul James Brown with a performing arts center."

We're told the cultural center will give students and the public access to the arts, concerts, plays and exhibits. City officials tell us the school must come up with $1.5 million before they can recieve the funds. They also have eight years if voters approve the package to finish construction.

"It's done throughout the nation. SPLOST is used all over the nation," Commissioner Corey Johnson said. "GRU and the Cancer Treatment Center is another issue some people have. Many are wondering why are we giving them $8 million."

If SPLOST doesn't pass that $8 million, the city borrowed won't go to GRU-Augusta and will go back to the bank.

Any outside agency receiving money must provide financial statements, budgets for construction and document how the project will be paid for.

The question remains: Is Paine College's campus safe enough where the public building using public funds will be built. Voters could decide that at the polls.

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