The Town was faced with a projected deficit of $867,000 for the upcoming budget year. The Town reduced the deficit by $390,000 by placing a moratorium on staff and council travel budgets and pay raises, eliminating the summer youth program and crime prevention funds.
Agencies accustomed to receiving mini-grants from the Town will not get them this year. A hiring freeze is in place, and future job vacancies will go unfilled, and employees will be required to take 40 hours of furlough during the upcoming year. Capital improvement expenses have no appropriations this year for new equipment or improvements. Unanticipated expenses will have to come out of unrestricted investments.
The remainder, $477,000, had to be passed along as rate increases to residents.
Electric fees will increase 3.7 percent, water by 7.8 percent, sewer 7.2 percent and garbage for residences will go from $10 to $15 a month, and to $20 for businesses.
Town Manager Don Wood has expressed that the Town’s goal with the budget was to avoid cutting services while still covering fixed costs.
District 1 Councilman Danny Miller and District 2 Councilman Bill Haslett voted against the passage of the budget.
“I am opposed to the increase in utilities and the cuts to the employees to balance the budget,” said Miller. “I just want to say that for the record.”
Haslett also stated his displeasure with the utility increases.
In other business, Miller expressed his concern about mileage reimbursements for council travel. Wood explained that mileage would be taken from the Council contingency fund, which contains $5,000.
The Council is planning a meeting to discuss providing water to proposed development in Jenkinsville.
Community Development Director Connie Shackleford brought proposals to the Council to have banners made for the lamp posts in Downtown Winnsboro. The banners the Town has are too heavy and large for the current posts. There was discussion about placing the large banners to the north and south of the downtown area and along Moultrie Street on the wooden poles. New, smaller banners would be purchased and placed on the 40 downtown lamp posts at a cost of approximately $2,200.
A joint Town Council and Zoning Committee meeting will be held at the Old Armory on Tuesday, June 22 at 6:15 for a rezoning hearing on the Mt. Zion building. The public is invited to attend.