Last updated: April 25. 2014 7:44AM - 589 Views
By Kevin Boozer kboozer@civitasmedia.com

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PROSPERITY — Prosperity Town Council and town officials began their first budget workshop Tuesday even though some information they need — such as the consumer price index, potential cost of living and merit pay increases and reassessment rollback millage numbers — will not be available until May.

Among the items discussed was the need for a structural engineer to evaluate the Old Prosperity School building, currently the town civic center.

The building has foundation issues and Town Administrator Karen Livingston anticipates that to be a major town expense. Just how major remains to be seen but since the sills of the building are affected, council said it is more than a company could address with steel beam renovations.

Funding options for repairs are being discussed.

Mayor Derek Underwood asked for an engineer to be consulted so the town gets a ballpark number for repairs.

Revenue changes, the council is sure, will impact the 2014-15 budget but detailed amounts of revenue changes were not yet available. The total 2013-14 budget was $2,370,600.

Council said in recent years shared revenue with Newberry County decreased from $15,000 to $10,000. Last year the town took in less in fines and speeding tickets than anticipated, due in part to the police force having fewer officers.

No decision will be made on a new police officer hire until later on in the budget process.

The town anticipates a 4.5 percent increase in insurance fees.

Some town needs under budget consideration include:

• Electrical items such as insulated goods, a new hydraulic pump on a bucket truck, rebuilt cylinders on a line truck, an arc flash kit and chainsaws.

• The water department needs include hydrants, a water line locator, blow off valves, PUPS 811 equipment (mandated), and new tires on a water truck.

• The sewer department needs include jet machine repairs and nozzles, Henry Street sewer repairs, new grinder teeth and wheel for Forrest Hills lift station.

• Mowing equipment like grass trimmers, a push mower, compactor, radios for trucks and backhoe tires.

• The Civic Center needs roof and porch repairs, a fix on the concession stand sewer under the concrete, and grading work among other things.

• The gazebo needs replacing downtown.

• Other items under consideration include the Langford warehouse, resurfacing the tennis courts, ballfield lights, concrete in dug outs, beach sand on the playground and a fence replaced at the ballfield

Council anticipated having more firm numbers at the next work session in mid-May when the consumer price index and some of the other state related data is available.

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