POMARIA — Pomaria Town Council held first reading of its preliminary budget for 2015 at its May meeting. Mayor Darryl Hentz led the council members present through the budget line by line.
State revenue and property tax revenue remained unchanged from the previous year. Hentz said one area the town was hit by in recent years was income earned from interest.
Interest rates are low meaning the principle the town has as a $62,767.92 in a CD at TD Bank generates less income than in the past. Currently the account gets a .2 percent interest rate.
Total projected revenue for the town is $37,210.
In expenditures, the town purchased more liability insurance on the building so that if an accident occurred the town could receive 80 to 100 percent coverage. The added insurance costs about $1,000 more per year but council and Hentz deemed it a prudent expense.
Dues increased to the Municipal Association so that line item increased $100 to $1,000 for 2015.
Town Clerk Kristy Graham said she would attempt to negotiate the town’s phone bill since there were increases in charges relating to the 911 system but those negotiations were on hold until the time period ended for an early termination fee on the town’s contract.
The recreation budget totalled $11,260 in revenues and in expenditures. That revenue included sponsorship fees that covered hats and shirts for the coaches. About 90 children participated this year, paying $45 fees that covered a trophy and uniform.
Council voted 3-0 to approve first reading of the budget. Councilman Billy Fanning, Jim Redden and Richard Ringer also were present at the meeting.
In other business:
• Fanning reported the bridge replacement on Berley Road is complete. “DOT did a good job and it was quickly done,” he said.
• Council discussed a request by Councilman Jimmy Wilson for the town to redo its ordinance regarding business licenses. Hentz said he researched Municipal Association guidelines and found a standard format for business licenses.
The ordinance under discussion would be similar to the current ordinance that has been on the books 30 years. It would be expanded to help determine which category a business falls under and to expand the provisions for policing the ordinance and collecting fines or fees when necessary.
Hentz said he would make copies of the over 50 pages of the currently recommended municipal association guidelines so council members could review them.
Council proposed a workshop eventually with someone from the municipal association to ensure the ordinance is done properly.
• A public meeting with DHEC and a local businessman concerning building chicken houses on Leitzsey Road is scheduled for May 13 at 6 p.m. Though the process is not affiliated with the town, the town is allowing the meeting to be held in its facility just as town council meetings are held there. The old cafeteria facility also will host Ruritan Family night on May 20.
• Fanning said he will build the dance floor on May 13 for the upcoming Old Pomaria School Reunion festival. The dance will be rain or shine at the May 17 festival. The parade starts at 11 a.m. with line-up at 10:30 a.m. The town agreed to pay for fire ant treatments of the grounds prior to the festival.