Thursday, June 6, 2013
Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis has presented Berkeley County Council with a balanced budget. What council decides to do with it remains to be seen.
Council met in regular session last week in Moncks Corner.
The proposed budget includes no tax or millage increases and affords the majority of Berkeley County departments to perform at the same level of services as last year.
Davis also proposed annual compensation raises for all employees, who he says have loyally stuck by the county despite not receiving any annual raises or cost-of-living adjustments over the past three years.
“When times got tough, we had to come up with creative ways to avoid layoffs,” said Davis. “We put a freeze on all compensation raises and cost-of-living adjustments. We’ve reduced department sizes through attrition - employees have had to do much more with a lot less. We did what we had to do to allow everyone to keep their jobs.
“Today, our employee wages are still well below what they should be. Our employees are the backbone of Berkeley County.
“Whether it’s fixing a pothole in the road, maintaining quality books and Wi-Fi access at the library, first responders at the scene of an accident, or any number of duties, our employees make an incredible impact on each and every one of us. We certainly don’t want to lose our highly qualified workers due to lack of competitive compensation.”
Council will take the month of June to review the supervisor’s proposed budget. The final budget will come up for its third meeting in the regular June meeting of county council.
Not included in the supervisor’s proposed budget are the 14 additional correction officers requested by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office for the Hill-Finklea Detention Center, funds for Trident Technical College’s nurses building, and the reopening of the county’s Goose Creek satellite office.
“I would like to have a workshop,” said councilman Tim Callanan. “This would give some of the elected officials an opportunity to speak.”
Berkeley County Water and Sanitation also presented its 2013-14 fiscal year budget.
“It is pretty simple, the FY14 budget for Berkeley County Water and Sanitation is balanced,” said BCWS Director Colin Martin. “We need to use some of the savings being generated by solid waste, about $165,000, to balance the solid waste budget.”
The third reading of the BCWS budget will occur during county council’s regular June meeting as well.