AP NEWS

$3.1 million budget approved on first reading for Johnsonville

May 15, 2019

JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – The Johnsonville City Council approved on first reading Tuesday evening a proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The balanced proposed budget includes total revenues and expenses of $3,109,000.

Johnsonville City Administrator Jim Smith said that in capital spending, the city’s water department has requested four items totaling $145,000 for next year. The department wants to update controllers at Oak Hill Well, replace a backhoe, portable fuel tank and Ford F250 pickup truck. The department’s current backhoe will be traded.

Smith said the police department is looking to replace a Ford Taurus this year and the streets and sanitation department wants to purchase a lawn mower.

“We’ve got $540,000 in capital purchases in the sewer department,” Smith said.

The budgeted capital projects to be funded in funded in fiscal year 2019-20 is $727,500.

The city is expecting $840,000 in water sales revenue for next year due to new customers being added in the Persimmon Fields and Whispering Pines area, plus the Yorkshire at the Providence apartments, Smith said. An adjustment to water rates could also affect the revenue, and Smith said the council will discuss that at a council meeting in June.

The Johnsonville Police Department has also requested that a new officer be added in the proposed budget. Johnsonville Police Chief Ron Douglas said the department has taken on about 50 more residences either in the city or adjacent to the city between new apartments and houses.

“We’ve kind of reached a point now where we’re kind of losing grip a little bit,” Douglas said. “Our property crimes have gone up a little bit, which is kind of alarming to me.”

Douglas said the apartment really needs to get a grip on some things in the community, but the city is fortunate it is not having the shootings that other areas in the county have experienced.

“But we don’t want to lose control of our streets and go back on that,” Douglas said. “It’s kind of hard to ask sometimes to spend more money to try to prevent stuff because we don’t know what we’re preventing sometimes. But it looks like it’s very doable.”

Smith said the cost of the new officer’s salary could be around $40,000 to $45,000 and is not a huge hit to the city’s budget.

The proposed budget includes a total salary increase of 2.5 percent across the board and a zero to two percent merit increase based on individual performance reviews given by supervisors.

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