News 12 at six o'clock, December 06, 2007
Augusta, GA---"I'm happy that the commission come together and voted for some good." The Richmond County commission has passed the budget for the coming year, and firefighter Dustin Colson is excited. It calls for a three-percent cost of living pay increase for all county employees, effective February 1st.
Richmond County public safety employees, including deputies, firefighters, marshals, and the RCCI, will also get an additional $2,000 raise, effective August 1st. "This just means that my wife and I are better able to provide for our daughter and any other children that we may decide to have," says Colson.
"They've gotten them a Christmas present, and it's great," Fire Chief Howard Willis. The vote didn't come without debate, though.
"My real concern is we have some needs. We cannot meet this Christmas list," said Commissioner Jerry Brigham.
"The question becomes where do we want to go? Are we afraid of our shadows or are we looking for the future," said city administrator Fred Russell.
"This may be given but understand sometime in the future there may be a cutback," said Mayor Pro-Tem, Betty Beard.
This will cost property owners about $55 dollars a year on a $100,000 dollar home or about $5 dollars a month.
"You can't go to McDonald's and get a hamburger for that on a 100,000 dollar home, you can't buy a loaf of bread, or a gallon of milk," said Administrator Russell.
Sarah Lamb has lived in Augusta most of her life, and she is not complaining, "I don't mind paying a higher tax to help our policemen and our firemen and to give others raises so that they would want to keep their jobs."