By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hartsville City Council convened a special meeting on June 29 for to hold public hearings and final readings on city budgets for the 2017/18 fiscal year.
The budget package in Ordinance 4296 also includes a $9.9 million General Fund budget, a Water and Sewer Utilities Enterprise Fund budget of $3,976,500, an Infrastructure Fund budget of $654,000, a Solid Waste Fund budget of $1,437,000, a Hospitality Fee Fund budget of $994,500, an Accommodations Tax Fund budget of $185,000, a Debt Service Fund budget of $165,000, a Storm Water Fund budget of $168,756, a Recreations Concessions Fund budget of $62,000, and a Splash Pad Fund budget of $112,500.
No citizen came forward to speak during any of the public hearings, and Council voted unanimously to approve all budgets, which take effect when the new fiscal year begins on July 1.
Also at this meeting, Mayor Mel Pennington presented Hartsville Street Department employees Kevin Garner and Alfie Jermaine Ross with the Hartsville Medal of Valor Award for going above and beyond their duties to help a citizen in need.
Garner related that recently, he and Ross were running their normal pick-up route when they spotted smoke coming from a home on Jasper Avenue. They left their vehicle and ran to the home, knocking on doors and windows to alert anyone inside of the danger. As the smoke thickened and they still received no response, a neighbor told the men that there was someone in the home. At Ross’s urging, Garner kicked open the front door, found the homeowner inside, and they helped her exit the home.
“We just want to say thank you for doing what you did. You guys take service to a whole other level,” said Pennington.
Garner and Ross were joined by Mayor Pennington and Council members Teresa Mack, Adlena Graham, William Shirley, Bernice Wilson, Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Andrews, and Robert Braddock for the award presentation.
On the regular agenda, Council approved final reading of Ordinance 4293, granting incentives for Clark Ihrie of High Cotton Homes to build new single-family dwellings on Norwood Avenue in the Oakdale Community. By meeting incentive criteria and building in Hartsville’s Strategic Overlay Zone, Ihrie qualifies for a 100 percent rebate on water tap fees and 50 percent rebates on building permits.
Teresa Mack, Council member representing District 3, asked Ihrie several questions about the cost, size, and financing of these homes. Ihrie replied that the three-bedroom, two-bath homes should range between 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and cost $115,000 and $140,000. He noted that the homes will be attractive and should blend well with the aesthetic character of the Oakdale Community.
Council also gave final approval to Ordinance 4295, setting the rate structure for the commercial solid waste user’s fees for 2017/18, with no rate increases added.