Newberry Observer

Council discusses budget

WHITMIRE — Whitmire Town Council discussed is preliminary numbers for the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget in a called meeting Monday.

“We do have money, but we don’t have enough which means this group has got some tough decisions to make where we can generate more income,” said Mayor Billy Hollingsworth. “All I want to look at today is to not try to put an expenditure budget together until we put together a revenue budget.”

On the town side, the total between vehicle and property taxes the town had budgeted was $184,000. Year-to-date through the end of March, the town has taken in $163,706.80 leaving a total of $20,293.

Council also discussed possibly raising the mileage rates on taxes.

“We’re 101 right now in our mileage, but the big question is do we want to go up,” Hollingsworth said. “We could probably go to a 101 and be safe, I don’t want to go to a 103, but it’s normally somewhere between one and a half and two.”

Hollingsworth suggested that the town increase to at least 102 in mileage rates.

In business licenses, the town had $90,000 budgeted. In the fiscal year ending June 30, there was a total of $166,000 in all licenses, permits and fees, the town received $208,000 which was $42,000 over.

Highlighted during the budget session was the topic of cemetery lots, the town currently charges $250 for cemetery lots, outside lots cost $500. Council discussed whether these numbers should be increased or not.

“It’s not going to generate that much income, it’s going to make a whole lot of difference in our total budget,” Hollingsworth said.

Hollingsworth asked Council to consider charging funeral homes for the opening and closing of a grave.

In recreation funds, there was $18,000 budgeted and $27,426 has been taken in so far. Hollingsworth said there shouldn’t be a whole lot left coming in for the budget this year for recreation.

Last year recreation spent $29,940.

Along with increasing mileage rates, charging of cemetery lots and charging to open and close graves, Council discussed potentially increasing the garbage fee.

The town currently charges six dollars inside the city and $12 outside.

“That’s something we started a few years ago and we generated $65,000 last year, almost $66,000,” Hollingsworth said. “We’re limited on the town side where we can generate any other money.”

On the water side, Hollingsworth said there is no income other than water and sewer rates.

“On water, we had a budget of $432,000, but we took in $416,865 year end June 2017, you see that’s $16,000 more than we took in last year, $257,000 we took in on sewer sales against $267,000 for a $10,000 difference. That alone is $26-27,000 short,” Hollingsworth said.

He added that this year the town has taken in $334,000 versus $432,000 budgeted.


By Kelly Duncan

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.