Clock ticking on county budget
The clock is ticking on the Berkeley County Council.
With a second continuing resolution slated to expire at midnight on Aug. 31, county council was expected to give the third reading of the fiscal year 2013/2014 budget resolution another try during its regular monthly meeting on Monday night.
Finance Committee Chairman Tim Callanan said that he is trying to come up with a cooperative budget process that offers a fix for what he sees is a snowballing county problem – spending taxpayer money.
“I want to find an agreeable solution that works for everybody,” Callanan said, “We need to find an alternative to using the money earmarked for taxpayer relief for capital improvement projects and employee cost of living increases.”
Callanan added after July’s council meeting that neither he nor members of county council are against employee raises he just wants council to find some other means of funding the money than the 29 percent taxpayer relief fund.
Supervisor Dan Davis said council needed to be careful with what they cut and that the county has already trimmed a lot off the budget. Any further cutting could wind up affecting the quality of services the county provides, he said.
“During the difficult times we’ve cut the fat out and we’re down to the meat,” he said. “What council needs to be aware of is if we cut anymore we’ll be cutting to the bone.”
Davis added the budget he presents to council each year is balanced.
Davis said, “I present a balanced budget to council at the same time every year. This budget is very similar to budgets I’ve presented in the past. There are no surprises in this year’s budget.”
In other council news on the agenda for approval was the first reading of Martin Marietta’s rezoning request for newly purchased property at its Jamestown quarry. The rezoning request has passed through the Berkeley County Planning Commission and was approved during the Land Use Committee during council’s Aug. 21 meeting.
Council member Steve Davis, who represents the Jamestown area in District 8, promised concerned residents in attendance that county council would do its due diligence in seeing their concerns were heard.
“I want to assure the residents of Jamestown that county council has heard you and we will see that your concerns are addressed,” he said.
Martin Marietta has met with concerned residents in a town hall meeting at its Jamestown quarry and during the Land Use Committee meeting on Aug. 12.
Three readings and a public hearing are required before the rezoning request is granted final approval.