Commissioners still battle over budget

Augusta commissioners are still battling over next year's budget.  A special meeting was called on Monday afternoon to present a few options before the commission.

City administrators said there are two options at this point: either raise taxes or use rainy day funds, while cutting back a little. Either way, commissioners are split between the two.

Now if the millage rate doesn't increase, there could be a 2.4 percent cut for the first part of next year and this could affect a few of the services offered by the city, according to the administration.

City leaders said they will be looking holistically and pinpointing which areas they could scale back on. Employee raises won't be cut, however. They will still push for the $500 increase for all full time workers, something they agreed on in earlier conversations.

City Administrator Fred Russell said he is proposing this plan because it is unnecessary to increase taxes.

"We keep seeing signs that the economy is improving and we keep seeing signs that we're getting better off and it doesn't make any sense to me at this moment to tie a tax increase, when in fact it might not be necessary," Russell said.

As commissioners have a little more time to decide what is best, a decision will be made early December.