$15K spent on 'safety carnival' for city employees - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

$15K spent on 'safety carnival' for city employees

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ATLANTA -

The mayor of Atlanta says he'll review how much the Watershed Management commissioner spent on an employee party dubbed a "safety carnival."

FOX 5 has learned more than $15,000 was spent on the function, which included music, food, and games.

The event was held Thursday at a water complex on the west side of Atlanta.

Top officials said it was safety training event, but some workers who heard about the event said it was over the top.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed defended the luncheon.

"Expenses related to that event and should be looked at, but I'm not going to say that we should not take steps to try to improve the morale and train our employees," Reed said.

The water department spent $350 for a one-day rental for a dunk tank, $1250 for the rock climbing wall. Food for the five-hour event cost $4,950. The grand total was $15,200 deducted from the water budget.

Some ratepayers said some of the expenses were excessive.

"Especially when we are the highest water bill in basically the nation," said one woman. "I mean, I have to live a really scaled-down lifestyle. I've had to cut back."

Reed asked ratepayers to take a broad view of what took place on Thursday.

"As much criticism as they get, they do very hard work trying to provide clean, healthy water for more than a million people," Reed said. "That said, I'm going to look into the concern raised by this story and by our ratepayers because I care at all times. "

Reed said that the hard work of the water employees helped him to avoid raising the rates. There were four rate increases scheduled that will not have to be enacted, Reed said.

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