The Latest: Commissioners discuss Gold Cross at first meeting of 2017

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Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aside from commissioners taking their oath of office, city leaders will talk about Gold Cross, the mayor Pro Temp Election, and an item on casino gaming.

Lots of families attended Tuesday's meeting as commissioners took their oath of office for their new terms. Those taking the oath of office Tuesday include Mary Davis, Andrew Jefferson, Marion Williams, and Sean Frantom.

Mayor Hardie Davis gave greetings beforehand.

The commission meeting kicked off with a presentation on trying to make Augusta a host city for collegiate sports venues.

Commisioner Sammie Sias and Sean Frantom were nominated as finance chairs. Sean Franton was voted as the new finance chair in a 6-4 vote. William Fennoy, Ben Hasan, Sammie Sias, and Dennis Williams voted no in the roll call vote.

Commissioner Marion Williams was appointed as the ex-officio of the planning commission.

The commission decided against elected officials taking office on Aug. 1. There was a unanimous yes vote to elections moving to November.

There was discussion on whether to waive fees charged by the Port Authority to the Savannah Riverkeeper. The item was sent back to committees to be discussed.

Gold Cross:

Commissioner Marion Williams said Tuesday that he was disappointed that the city administrator cut $700 thousand without bringing it to the commission. Williams said the whole process has been "wrong and too hush hush" and said leaders should be negotiating with Gold Cross.

Commissioners voted 6-2-1-1 on approving the $380 thousand in the budget for Gold Cross. After they voted, they decided to discuss update on negotiations.

Commissioner Guilfoyle put a motion forward to approve the contract with Gold Cross for $900k and have the administrator find $500k in the budget. Commissioner Sammie Sias said he supports a $380 thousand subsidy.

Commissioner Grady Smith commended Gold Cross and said he hopes they can get this resolved so it's fair for both sides.

Commissioners also voted to give the Board of Health 75,000 dollars, but voted against giving MACH Academy 25,000.

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