New commissioners ready to take office in Richmond County - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

New commissioners ready to take office in Richmond County

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He hasn't been sworn in yet but, District 9 commissioner-elect Marion Williams is ready to get back on the commission after a 10-year absence. He's also getting a head start on meeting the needs of the people.

"We've got to do some things to bring money into Augusta versus going up on our property tax every year and trying to go into our savings," Williams said.

Property taxes and the city's savings are two elements addressed when city administrator Fred Russell proposed next year's budget. Russell says the proposed $700 million budget calls for $5 million dollars from the city's savings and no increase on property tax.

"Because of the economy and stuff, we need to make sure we maintain the level of services," Russell said. "We're not trying to expand those a whole lot. But we're also very cognizant that the tax payers are having as much trouble as anybody making ends meet.

And in order for the city to make ends meet, Russell also proposes a one percent excise tax on energy used in manufacturing. He says that could add $500,000 to the general fund. But even if the proposed budget is approved at the next commission meeting, at least three new commissioners could oppose the budget.

"The budget is a living document and I suggest that we get back together the first of the year and look at that," Russell said. "There's always a difference of opinion."

And if there is a difference of opinion, Williams and other newly-elected commissioners can weigh in on what they think is best for the city.

"When I look at the things that are going on in the city of Augusta, there's just a lot that needs to be addressed" Williams said. "I was blessed to be elected by the people, and you know, I'm grateful to be able to go back."

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