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Council passes city budget

Walterboro City Council passed the municipality’s fiscal year 2013-14 budget on Tuesday, June 25, clearing a July 1 deadline and avoiding large tax hikes.

The unanimously adopted budget includes a 2.87 mil increase to improve the Public Safety Department’s radio communications system, a two percent property tax hike, a four-mil rise for debt payments, which will expire after five years, and a five percent water and sewer increase.

Coming into the budget process, council was confronted with a $300,000 shortfall, but through a budget work session, council members, working with City Manager Jeff Lord, were able cut that projected cost down.

Lord returned with budget cuts of $195,386, which included $42,753 for mulch for I-95 exit areas beautification program, $42,250 consulting work from a Charleston area public relations firm, $32,201 in sidewalk maintenance through the elimination of one position, $30,399 for the purchase of a truck for the parks department, $13,283 for a hiring freeze on city judicial positions, $10,000 in funding for the Board of Disabilities litter clean-up program, $10,000 for a workman’s compensation deductible, $7,500 in contractual services for the water department, and $7,000 through the elimination of a drive-through service at the water department. Councilman Randy Peters did not attend the meeting.

In other business:

-Council unanimously passed an ordinance to make the city’s building codes more business friendly by amending a portion of the codes dealing with historic and old buildings.

-Accepted the resignation of Jimmy Syfrett from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals and the resignation of James Broderick from the Municipal Planning Commission. Both won recent council races, the seats formerly held by Charles Lucas and Dwayne Buckner. The two will be sworn into office on Tuesday, July 9.

-Council also unanimously certified the May 28 municipal election.

Rick Tobin, Editor (434 Posts)