Augusta city administrator presents proposed 2022 budget

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 9:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – City of Augusta Administrator Odie Donald, II presented his recommended Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget during the Augusta Commission meeting Tuesday.

The budget covers six strategic priorities, including infrastructure, quality of life, public safety, governance and finance, economic development and external relationships. The plan also includes data collected through public budget forums and an online survey.

The proposal brings forward a recommendation in the amount of $999.6 million, a 8.64% increase over the 2021 amended budget of $920 million. The General Fund budget is $177.6 million, which is a 5.44% increase over the current year budget of $168 million.

The increase in the proposed budget includes a planned use of funds of $39 million from SPLOST 8 and $41 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to begin implementation of the Augusta Rescue Plan and administer capital projects.

“Despite the unexpected and ever-changing environment of providing service delivery in the midst of a global pandemic, Augusta has remained focused on our mission to provide cost-effective, high-quality government services to the citizens of Augusta,” Donald said.

Additional expenditure highlights in the proposed proposed budget include:

  • Implementation of a $3.2 million retention plan for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
  • A planned construction of Fire Station 3 on Gordon Highway at $5 million with existing SPLOST 7 funds.
  • $600,000 investment in body cameras for Augusta’s Marshal’s Office funded by the ARPA.
  • Light Up Augusta initiative funded at $6 million via the ARPA/ARP.
  • $3 million for new water meters funded via the ARPA.
  • $5 million in road resurfacing in SPLOST 8 for FY22, coupled with $1.5 million to implement Pothole Palooza via SPLOST 7.
  • $1 million for the maintenance and revitalization of parks/public spaces via the ARPA.
  • $1 million to blight/affordable housing leveraging the ARPA with additional funding provided through SPLOST 8.
  • A $6 million investment in emergency rental assistance and relief for landlords.
  • A $750,000 investment in the tourism bureau to market and promote Augusta as a global destination.

A public hearing on the budget will be held prior to the next Augusta Commission meeting at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 2. The budget is set to be adopted by the Augusta Commission on Nov. 19 and then implemented on Jan. 1.

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