Thursday, May 23 2013 12:25 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:25:08 GMT
Army Specialist Ciara Smith surprised her son Devin Lewis and her mother Carla Williams today at Devin's Kindergarten graduation at Harper Elementary School in Thomasville. Smith just returned from herMore >>
Army Specialist Ciara Smith surprised her son Devin Lewis and her mother Carla Williams today at Devin's Kindergarten graduation at Harper Elementary School in Thomasville. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:57 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:57:54 GMT
Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society Volunteer Lacey Williams and WALB's Stephen Abel drew the winning raffle ticket late Wednesday afternoon for a $100 gas card donated by Harold Jackson and PetroleumMore >>
A group of volunteers raised a total of $640 by selling the raffle tickets. The money will be used to fight animal cruelty through education and awareness.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:01 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:01:10 GMT
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, P. E. announced some road closures Thursday morning. Beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, the following streets will be closed for the Spring Fest and SBMore >>
Albany Engineer K. Bruce Maples, announced some road closures beginning at 6:00 A.M., Saturday, May 25, 2013, in downtown Albany.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:00 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:00:09 GMT
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that metro Albany's unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent in April, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.9 percent in March. TheMore >>
The unemployment rate in the Southwest Georgia region declined to 8.2 percent in April, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 8.4 percent in March. The rate was 8.8 percent in April a year ago.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-05-23 11:30:38 GMT
Dougherty County Police believe a pair of convenience store smash and grabs may be the work of the same two men. The first smash and grab happened around 2:20 am at the Pit Stop convenience store atMore >>
Dougherty County Police believe two men are behind a smash and grab and a break in at two convenience stores within four miles of each other.More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Albany city officials are looking for ways to save money especially after pulling nearly $5,000,000 from reserves last year to balance the budget.
But could that result in layoffs or tax increases.
City leaders say they're doing everything possible to avoid that and Tuesday that voted to move forward with a plan to increase revenue by raising the hotel tax.
Hotels in Albany stay busy in fact many times rooms they are totally booked. But a new state law allows cities to raise the hotel motel tax from 7 to 8 percent.
"It's about 60 dollars a night to stay in a hotel in Albany this would be 60 cents a night tacked on to visitors," said Wes Smith, Assistant City Manager.
Today commissioners discussed the tax increase, and what it would do for Albany. The increase would generate an additional $200,000 annually.
"We know we've been spending more than taking in and that's got to stop," said Smith.
At seven percent the tax generates $1,450,000 every year.
"Half of the amount goes to the convention and visitors bureau and the other half goes into the general fund to offset civic center expenses," said Smith
But with the increase, all the additional money would go towards the General Fund to offset Civic Center costs. The money that goes towards the convention and visitors bureau would stay the same.
The new law gives the city the option of using the additional revenue to support the Flint Riverquarium or museums, but staff members are recommending that extra money goes into the general fund.
"This year we took out of other funds reserves somewhere in the range of $4,000,000 to $5,000,000 to shore up the budget and we don't want to do that again," said Smith.
Assistant City manager Wes Smith recommends looking at the whole picture.
"Do you want to put money in an aquarium or museum when in order to do that you will have to lay people off and a city needs its employee and we don't want people scared they are going to lose their job," said Smith.
Staffers say the money could be used to offset the cost of running the civic center.
"No it doesn't get to five million but it will be a nice piece," said Smith.
The proposal will go before the commission at their next meeting before going to the General Assembly next year for their okay.
Soon they hope to present the commission with a complete plan that lists all the options to help shore up the city's finances.