Council mulls budget during Monday workshop

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Sumter County Council heard from Sumter School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Baker during a Monday evening budget workshop held at Sumter Fire Department’s Training Facility.

Baker asked for an increase of $2,045,746 from last year’s District budget, based upon a 1.27 millage rate increase – the maximum eligibility allowed by law – to come up with a new millage rate of 162.13 on an estimated mill value of $211,200 for 2016.

Baker’s brief presentation was for informational purposes only and no action was taken.

Council also discussed the possibility of raising starting salaries for deputies at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office to $30,000 and $28,000 for corrections officers at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.

Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon told Council members that after researching pay increases and retention, it was revealed that over the past year at the sheriff’s office, out of 142 deputies, only 8 resigned, 13 retired and there’s one vacancy.

At the Detention Center, there were 31 resignations in that same time period and 14 vacancies, showing the difficulty in retaining corrections officers.

Mixon praised Sheriff Anthony Dennis for providing an excellent work environment and equipment while noting that working at the Detention Center is stressful and “not unique to Sumter.”

Council did approve to put several agencies’ budget requests into the budget ordinance, which will receive second reading at the next Council meeting on May 23.

Approved were:

-         $40,000 for the Legislative Delegation

-         $412,957 for the Planning Commission

-         $517,389 for Building Inspections

-         $9,000 for Small Business Development Center

-         $29,160 for Mental Health Center

-         $5,000 for Sumter United Ministries

-         $35,519 for Wateree AIDS Task Force

-         $5,000 for American Red Cross

-         $19,565 for Sumter Senior Services

-         $29,549 for Soil and Water Conservation District

-         $50,410 for Clemson Extension

-         $34,500 for Base Defense

-         $98,911 for Santee Lynches

-         $1,142,379 for Sumter County Library

-         $45,000 for Sumter County Gallery of Art

-         $7,000 for Sumter Green

-         $5,000 for Genealogical Society

-         $17,800 for United Way/Diamonds

-         $55,000 for Sumter County Museum

-         $13,445 for Sumter County Historical Commission

-         $140,000 for Sumter Wateree RTA

-         $10,000 for Sumter Little Theatre

-         $30,000 for the Animal shelter contract

-         $30,000 for the Fatherhood program

-         $4,264 for the SWRTA Veterans Administration route

-         $1,000 for YWCA of the Upper Lowlands

Council discussed an additional $10,000 for Sumter Little Theatre and whether it would be a capital request or operational cost, but made no decision.

Council also approved changing the Solid Waste Commercial debris fee from $42.50 per ton to $44.51 per ton. This change will be in effect with the new Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2017.

County Council meets at 6 p.m. on May 23.


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