Little Mountain residents will see an increase in utilities in the upcoming fiscal year 2012-13.
The Town of Little Mountain has approved their 2012-13 operating budget with all approving the budget. Little Mountain’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Five citizens showed up at the meeting and all council members were unanimous about the budget.
The utilities include water and electricity and Little Mountain Mayor Buddy Johnson commented that the rates will go up 3.7 percent due in part to SCE&G increasing their costs due to the new construction of the nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer.
He commented that much of the decisions made by the state government impacts the local governments significantly.
Also, Johnson mentioned the street lights that the town has to help keep residents safe who may out in the evening or at night. The cost for the maintenance of the street lights costs about $18,000 a year.
Another cost to the town which takes up about 20 percent of the budget is the upkeep of the parks and places owned by the town. The town has a combination of seven parks and area including Reunion Park, Brady Park and the space by the community center. This was budgeted for about $21,000.
The town thrives on keeping up the appearance within the town as it is an historical community.
To go along with the historic preservation, the council also budgeted money for the historical review committee as well as the design guidelines ordinance development.
Outside of the City of Newberry, Little Mountain is the only town to be a recognized historic district, according to Johnson.
Because of this there are certain guidelines to maintaining this historic preservation.
The committee members will receive training for about a week and the amount budgeted is only $400 but the ordinance development is budgeted for $4,000.
There is a particular character to be kept in the town and certain regulations that are to be carried out.
Insurance for the town is less expensive since the town switched from the state to the municipal association. However the coverage is more plus the town is audited and the guidelines are more strict, according to Johnson.
The council and mayor managed to balance the budget at $98,298
Community Center update
In other news, the rest of the Community Center construction was put on hold but it should start soon.
The construction should have started a couple of weeks ago, says Johnson and he is going to check with the company, Mashburn and see what the delay is.
Johnson states that the center is only in need of about $48,000 to finish everything and there has been $1.1 million put into the facility plus grants and the one cent sales tax.
Basically, the finishing touches for the center include: painting, lighting, electrical outlets and carpet to be put down.
Little Mountain Elementary
In school news, the town will contribute money to cover the cost of a student who was not able to afford the trip. While the town helped out a student, other organizations such as the Ruritan club and others help out other children.
Every year, the fifth grade class at Little Mountain visits Washington, D.C. The town will help out with expenses for a child which equal about $400.
As Johnson says, “It’s a great thing for our community and such a wonderful trip for all of our fifth graders. For some, it’s a trip of a lifetime.”
The money comes from this year’s budget and not the upcoming year.