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City budget approved

Walterboro’s budget for the coming year has been passed.
Walterboro City Council gave its final approval to the proposed budget during its Tuesday night council meeting, thereby voting to adopt the city’s $10,765,358 budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
The budget does not include any property tax increases. It also has no business license increases and no increases to the city’s water and sewer rates.
The budget does include a 1.5-percent cost-of-living salary increase for all city employees.
However, neither the mayor nor city council members received a salary increase for the coming year.
As part of the new budget, city council also approved the financing of ongoing renovations to 300 Hampton Street, the former First Federal Bank building. City Council bought that building in 2015: the city’s finance department and court administration offices will be housed in the new building, according to city Manager Jeff Molinari. “The new building will also house Planning, and Building Inspection,” said Molinari. “Citizens will be able to pull building permits, pay their water/sewer bill, purchase a business license and pay court tickets, among other functions, all under one roof.”
Broken down, the city’s nearly $10.8 million total budget includes about $6.7 million in general funds, which is the primary chunk of operating cash for the entire city.
The adopted budget also includes the purchase of a new fire pumper for the Walterboro Fire Department, new uniforms for the Walterboro Police Department, and the purchase of new plaques and brick bases for five of the city’s parks and its tennis facility, according to the budget.
The police department will be spending more than $14,000 for uniforms for each of the city’s 17 patrol officers. “The uniforms will be a better quality material,” said Walterboro Police Department Spokeswoman Amye Stivender. Walterboro Police Chief Wade Marvin also previously told city council members in a budget meeting that the new uniforms will help to keep officers cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Besides the new uniforms, the city’s police department will also be receiving new vehicles. The cost of the new vehicles are mostly being bought through grants that Marvin sought out, he said. Even with the vehicle and uniform purchases, the entire police department’s budget for this coming year came in at about $100,000 less than originally projected, according to budget information.
Lastly, the city’s water department will also receive new radio read meters for the coming year, as stated in the budget.

Heather Walters (827 Posts)