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Elected officials have been talking for years about building a pedestrian bridge between Augusta and North Augusta, but nobody ever thought it could turn out to be a mud bridge. So if the federal, state and local elected officials in Georgia and South Carolina can’t manage to get another 3 to 5 feet of water in the pool and save folks in Augusta and North Augusta from having to gaze out across dried-up mudflats, what good are they? Yes, past officials knew the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam was going to be deauthorized, torn down and a way made for sturgeon to get upstream to spawn, which they’ve had a hard time doing since the lock and dam was built in 1938. A 300 percent raise is not going to happen, according to some Augusta-area lawmakers. The BOE is Overdue: Meanwhile, Augusta commissioners and Richmond County Board of Education members have petitioned the local legislative delegation to increase their pay, and lawmakers seem more inclined to grant the board’s request than the commissioners’. They had not gotten a raise in years.” The last school board raise went into effect Jan. 1, 2000, member Helen Minchew said. Regular members currently make $6,800 a year, the vice president $7,400, and the president $8,000. They have asked for board members’ annual pay to increase to $10,000, the vice president’s to $11,000 and the president’s to $12,000. A Lying Philosophy: Augusta commissioners recently set fees for treating and transporting patients in fire department ambulances and approved a billing system. Some commissioners even argued for just accepting what the patients’ insurance paid and not bill for charges above that – non-balanced billing.