County Council approves budget
By Stephan Drew, Editor
The Darlington County Council convened on Monday, June 19, 2023, to discuss and approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. With great cooperation, council members gathered to review the proposed budget of $48,457,009, aiming to allocate funds effectively to meet the needs of the county.
Council members approved the budget on its third reading. This marked a significant milestone for the county as it laid the foundation for financial planning and resource allocation for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
Council also passed Ordinance 23-04. This ordinance designates Rubicon Counseling as the agency responsible for alcohol and drug abuse planning. The programs funded by excise tax revenue will now be managed by Rubicon Counseling, ensuring a structured approach to addressing substance abuse issues in the county.
During the meeting, the council also addressed the matter of emergency services and the need for additional EMS staffing. Ordinance 23-10 proposed an increase in the Emergency Services Vehicle Fee from $45 to $50 per vehicle. This fee increase would generate additional funds to support the hiring of more EMS personnel. Additionally, the mileage reimbursement rate for emergency service vehicles was proposed to increase from 54.5 cents to 65.5 cents per mile. The second reading of Ordinance 23-10 was passed, indicating council members’ recognition of the importance of adequately funding emergency services.
Ordinance 23-12, which detailed regulations concerning animal adoption, control, and treatment, was another significant topic of discussion. Council member Angie Godbold brought attention to the need for specific language regarding adequate food, tethering, and overall care for animals. The ordinance passed on for its third reading. The council’s commitment to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership was evident in their attention to great detail within the ordinance.
In addition to these ordinances, the council also addressed the potential sale of the I-20 Industrial Park. Ordinance 23-11, which authorized the sale of the industrial park to Pee Dee Electricom, Inc., passed its first reading (in Title Only). The council members acknowledged the importance of fostering economic development while ensuring responsible decision-making regarding public assets.
Demonstrating their commitment to public health, the council proclaimed the month of June as Men’s Health Month with Resolution 756. Vice Chairman Le Flowers read the resolution. By raising awareness and promoting preventive healthcare measures, the council aimed to improve the overall well-being of men within the county.
The next meeting of the Darlington County Council will take place on Monday, July 3, 2023.