By: Natalie M. Zeigler
City staff has completed preparation for this coming fiscal year’s budget proposal, FY 17-18. City Council will review and vote on the budget proposal June 13. The City of Hartsville has a proposed budget that should continue efforts to improve the lives of residents with no tax or fee increases. After being proposed, City Council will make possible amendments and then formally choose whether to adopt the budget.
The General Fund is the cornerstone of the budget and required to be balanced by state law. The General Fund covers much of our operations. Local governments cannot spend more than they take in and vice versa. Revenue streams for this fund include property taxes, business licenses, fees, fines and franchises. Despite a State mandated pension increase, we managed to hold the same millage. The proposed General Fund budget for the coming year amounts to $9,953,242. Like a majority of thriving local governments, about 2.3% of the City of Hartsville’s proposed General Fund budget has been set aside in a contingency fund which will be reserved for any unforeseen situations. The budget also covers other valuable services, assigning $2,980,210 to Hartsville Police Department. This includes capital for five new police vehicles. Another $1,529,759 is apportioned to Hartsville Fire Department, and $756,476 is budgeted to Parks and Recreation. We pursue a lot of grant funding which has supported many the City’s most visible projects. In addition to usual budget implementations, matching funds have been held for grant awards we hope to receive in the fiscal year. Some line items of the budget are upgrades, like increased money for sidewalk repairs.
The General Fund is not the only collection for City operations. Our reliable water and sewer services accommodate more than 4,000 customers and has its own enterprise fund. We pursue a lot of grant funding which has supported many the City’s most visible projects. $3,976,500 is allocated to the city’s water, sewer and stormwater. The proposed Sanitation budget is $1,437,000. Funds for Sanitation will provide new pieces of equipment that will advance staff efficiency and aid in local improvements.
The upcoming FY 17-18 budget is the result of much hard work by City Council and staff. Led by Councilman Bob Braddock, the City Council Finance Committee has been reviewing the budget proposal carefully, and new Finance Director Karen Caulder has been working closely with all departments to ensure this year’s budget represents a responsible use of taxpayer money. This suggested budget was a great effort, calculated to allow the City of Hartsville to continue progressive and forward-thinking initiatives without proposing a tax increase. FY 17-18 will offer a framework for moving forward successfully.
Natalie Zeigler is the City Manager of Hartsville. For more information, call City Hall at 843-383-3015 or email email@example.com.