County Budget up for last hearing

Laurens County Council will consider 1.5 mil tax hike in the capital fund, going to raises
By a 5-1 vote June 14, Council adopted a FY16-17 operations budget that increases the capital fund property tax by 1.5 mils (currently set at 4 mils). In addition to the capital fund, tax millage for the current fiscal year is 63.1 mils for general fund, 6 mils for the reserve fund, 1 mil for Higher Education; and 7.4 mils for EMS.

The public will have one last chance to address Laurens County Council about its $28.875M budget at the council's meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting will be at 5:30 pm in the council chambers of the historic courthouse in downtown Laurens. The meeting is open to the public. Public hearing, and 3rd (final) reading/vote on the proposed budget is agenda item #7c. Based on its actions at 2nd reading, the council intends to raise county taxes 1.5 mils in the capital improvements fund (currently set at 4 mils), and apply the money generated along with money from reserves to give all County employees a 50 cents per hour raise. Council originally had sought to raise general property taxes by 4 mils and apply the money to the raise, but it is forbidden to do so by state law (property tax increases cannot exceed the rate of inflation in any given fiscal year).

A vote for the 1.5 mil tax hike in the capital fund passed by a 5-1 margin at the council's June 14 budget work session.

At the June 28 meeting, council will hear these reports:

--Laurens County Fire Service, Greg Lindley;

--Laurens County E911/Communications, Joey Avery;

--Laurens County Administrator, Jon Caime;

--Laurens County Tax Assessor Office, David Satterfield;

--Laurens County EMS, Chad Burrell.

The Planning Commission will present the Junkyard Ordinance, and request direction on other enforcement ordinances. Council will consider final reading of an ordinance to retain the maximum amount allowed by law of the local option sales tax, to apply to General Fund revenue. Council will consider 2nd readings of two ordinances pertaining to the Octagon MCIP (multi-county industrial park, with Greenville County), and consider a Resolution of Affirmation for compensation.

Council will hear about a Local Emergency Funding Grant, and a P25 Upgrade FCC Mandate for public safety. Ann Skinner will present the Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Workforce Development Agreement. Council will consider a resolution for continuing the fire department budgets, and will consider for approval the Laurens County Trails Master Plan. Council will consider a request to place out for RFPs (request for proposals) for updating the county website.

Public Comments is agenda item #9, this is a 15-minute period and anyone who wants to address council on any subject is required to register at the podium before the meeting starts. County Council members' comments, and a closed-to-the-public executive session, for an employment matter, will conclude the meeting.

Laurens County Council meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.


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