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Sheriff gets a raise and Augusta hires new city administrator

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 4:34 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Commission voted Tuesday afternoon to fill a critical position as well as give a pay raise to the sheriff, among addressing other proposals for the city.

COMMISSION NAMES NEW CITY ADMINISTRATOR AND RAISES PAY FOR SHERIFF ROUNDTREE

Leaders voted to name Odie Donald II the new city administrator. The position has been unfulfilled since the former administrator resigned in lieu of being fired.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree was also given a raise. Roundtree will make $176,500 starting next year.

No changes were made to the fire department, though.

Last week, an outside investigation found there are issues with morale, turnover rates, and leadership.

COVID-19 MEMORIAL WALL PROPOSAL

Commission leaders also continued with a previous discussion on erecting a COVID-19 memorial wall along Augusta Riverwalk.

This is a project one commissioner is pushing, but the idea failed to get enough commission support today.

“To have a wall that you could look, see and touch and feel. And have supporting documentation about what happened in the year 2020,” Bill Fennoy, District 1 Commissioner, said.

“I just think that we should consider a virtual wall where it will be much less expensive to maintain and much more versatile,” Sammie Sias, District 4 Commissioner, said.

Some leaders cited HIPPA laws preventing the city from getting names for the wall, while others said, it would be more appropriate to just have a historical marker one day downtown.

ELECTION GRANTS

About $400,000 dollars to help with voting in Augusta during the pandemic, and it’s all from grants to the Richmond County Board of Elections.

Commission accepted those grant dollars today, and it will help with things like providing a disposable stylus for voters to use at machines, more masks and sanitizer. Even technical equipment at the polls.

Commissioners thanked the board today for meeting the need to have safe and fair elections come November.

“I know 2020 has been the most trying year of your career and you’ve still got another 30 days or so but just thank you for all you’ve done these grants are a testament of the work that you all are doing so thank you,” Sean Frantom, District 7 Commissioner, said.

PROGRESS TO BE MADE AT THE RICHMOND COUNTY LANDFILL

Years of problems and pollution at the landfill will cost taxpayers $18 million to fix in the long run.

But in the short run, the Commission voted today to shell out about $800,000 dollars. This would go to more equipment and staff at the site of the Richmond County Landfill.

It’s all needed to repair pumps, pipes, and systems connected to a pollution outbreak, one neighbors feared it affected their water supply.

“Needed resources in terms of establishing positive drainage and vegetative cover of landfill phase three...And authorize professional services with a 60-day extension,” Wayne Brown, of the Augusta Law Department, said.

So, this means the city is required to show the state they are working to improve the landfill. They are planning to show progress at the end of December.

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