County Council approves $132.66 million budget

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From staff reports 

Beaufort County Council passed the $132.66 million Fiscal Year 2022 budget Wednesday afternoon, June 30, at a specially called Council meeting. 

The County budget was the only item on the agenda. Council voted 11-0 to approve the budget. 

“This balanced budget is the result of a collaboration of efforts among numerous agencies, offices, departments, and staff county-wide,” Beaufort County Adinistrator Eric Greenway said in a release. 

“We worked hard to present a budget that improved our services to County residents, anticipated the continued population growth, and was the best use of tax dollars.” 

Budget highlights listed in the County Council’s media release include: 

Froze operations millage rates in the property tax formula to minimize any tax increase; 

8 percent increase of tax revenue from population growth lead to a $2 million budget increase; 

Realized approximately $800,000 in personnel cost savings by eliminating unfilled staff positions; 

Provided a $1.97 million increase to Emergency Medical Services, in part to provide a pay raise; 

Reduced capital requests by $2 million from the general fund because of new federal spending programs; 

Provided a $1.6 million increase to Parks and Recreation to expand services and explore expanding after-school and summer camp programs for children; 

Established a Solid Waste and Recycling Enterprise Fund to provide long-term stability and ensure designated resources are used to improve this service. 

“The staff was able to provide a balanced budget that accomplishes the goals set by the Council without having to change the property tax formula,” Deputy County Administrator Whitney Richland said. “Great care was taken to apply resources strategically and equitably across the departments and County as a whole.” 

The County is also developing plans for capital improvement projects funded by directed state and federal budget money, the Federal American Recovery Act, federal grants, and the possible federal infrastructure bill. 

To watch a replay of this meeting find The County Channel on Comcast Ch. 2, Hargray Chs. 9 and 113, and Spectrum Ch. 1304. Viewers can also watch programming live and on-demand at The County Channel’s website at www.beaufortcountysc.gov/ thecountychannel. 

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