Heated discussion on proposed millage hike in Grovetown - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Heated discussion on proposed millage hike in Grovetown

HEATED DISCUSSION ON PROPOSED MILLAGE HIKE wfxg HEATED DISCUSSION ON PROPOSED MILLAGE HIKE wfxg
AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

A lot of concerns from Grovetown residents, over the proposed increase in how much money they may have to pay the city. So let's look at the numbers, Grovetown administrators are proposing going from 6.9 mills to 9 mills.  If you owned a 100-thousand dollar home you'd go from paying 690 dollars to paying 900 dollars. FOX 54's Miya Payton spoke to residents who say they are not okay with this plan.

City Administrators say that unfortunately Grovetown has found itself in a difficult position with unforeseen increases in liability insurance for employees. But some residents say the increase is really a result of poor planning. Resident Frank Estrada suggested that Grovetown did not act fast enough to handle the growth of Fort Gordon since 2013. "It's hard to stay a small town when you're getting such a big growth. We saw it coming but we didn't want to believe it. It's happened and now we're in trouble and trying to get ourselves out of it."

And a big question one a lot of people's minds is "what is this money going towards?". "We could put some more police out on the streets, get a couple more fire fighters, add a couple more workers to our street and sanitation and sewer water workers. That will allow us to keep and increase the level of services that we have now.", explains City Administrator, John Waller.

Resident Judy Wall says this should not fall on the citizens. "Every time we turn around there is a new tax hike. It's not our fault that everything is gone and Grovetown has fell behind. They should fix it on their own. It's not our responsibility to front the bill."

City Administrator John Waller says the only other option is to use the city's reserves. That's basically Grovetown's savings account. But he highly recommends not using it -- in case of emergencies. "So if there is a catastrophe the government can run for three or four months and then we're out. The goal is to have six months on hand. If we don't increase the millage at all we're going to have to use about one month's worth of reserves."

Waller says he felt the tension in the room, heard all of the complaints and concerns and the city will take them in to consideration. He says until a decision is made the community needs to stand together ."There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are confident but on the short term we have got to get through these choppy water."

 

One resident at the meeting, suggested Grovetown set small increases for each of the next 11 years rather than approve one, dramatic hike now. A plan like that is NOT up for a vote at this point. The next public meeting on the millage rate, will be July 25th.

Copyright 2017 WFXG. All rights reserved.

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