Thursday, June 20 2013 12:09 AM EDT2013-06-20 04:09:02 GMT
The Albany Water Gas and light commission is preparing customers for a change that starts soon for those who pay with debit or credit cards. WG&L leaders say the utility is paying $20,000 dollars a monthMore >>
The Albany Water Gas and light commission is preparing customers for a change that starts soon for those who pay with debit or credit cards.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:41 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:41:18 GMT
An Albany man who was born when Woodrow Wilson was president celebrated his birthday today. Century Pines Assisted Living Center threw a party for resident Charles Walker who turned 101 today. Walker wasMore >>
An Albany man who was born when Woodrow Wilson was president celebrated his birthday today.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:34:54 GMT
For years, the area right across the street from the RiverQuarium has been rundown, but that's changing. A couple of businesses are thriving there. The new art park is open, and a sidewalk improvementMore >>
For years, the area right across the street from the RiverQuarium has been rundown, but that's changing.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:20:33 GMT
Downtown Albany leaders are looking for ways to make sure the Flint Riverquarium remains an important part of downtown for years to come. Tonight, The Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority board began discussionsMore >>
Downtown Albany leaders are looking for ways to make sure the Flint Riverquarium remains an important part of downtown for years to come.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:51 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:51:07 GMT
Ravi Mikel Givens was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He is being held in the Dougherty County jail. Givens, who played ball at Westover and StetsonMore >>
Agents say that police responded to the apartment because of a burglar alarm. Officers found the back door broken open and went inside. That's where they detected a strong odor of marijuana, and saw pot in plain view.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.