Council gets first look at county budget
By Samantha Lyles
At their June 1 regular meeting, Darlington County Council got their first look at a proposed $33.2 million budget for fiscal year 2015/16, prepared by county administrator Terence Arrington and staff.
This first draft budget includes a general fund of $24,163,914, an Environmental Services fund of $2,716,965, a Fire District Fund of $1,963,370, a Road Maintenance fund of $1,675,000, a County Library fund of $1,352,598, an Emergency Telephone fund of $804,966, a Hartsville Fire Protection District fund of $475,000, and a State Accommodations Tax fund of $60,525.
Council passed first reading of Ordinance 15-21, which incorporates these budget figures as a starting point and allows the county to make appropriations and provide for expenditures and revenues for the coming budget year.
Arrington told council the budget he has prepared is “balanced on paper,” but is subject to input and changes during the forthcoming budget worksessions. Council will meet June 9 and 11 at 10 am in the Fifth Floor courtroom of the county courthouse for these working meetings, which Arrington estimated would last about four hours each. The budget worksessions are open to the public.
Council also approved final reading of Ordinance 15-12, containing several incentives for Sonoco Products Company, which plans to expand its Hartsville headquarters with a $12 million research and development facility. Council voted unanimously for a new Fee In Lieu of Tax (FILOT) agreement reducing the assessment ratio on Sonoco’s manufacturing facility from 10.5 percent to 6 percent and locking in millage for 30 years for each phase of investment, a 30-year extension of an existing 50-percent special source revenue credit from 2006, and a new 50-percent credit to reduce property taxes on the R&D expansion.