Friday, October 4, 2013
Goose Creek’s $34 million budget for 2014 allows for two extra police vehicles and two new employees.
Goose Creek City Council passed the first reading of its 2014 budget at its Sept. 10 meeting at city hall.
The new budget is well over half a million dollars more than the 2013 budget of $33,487,519. The exact figure for the 2014 budget is $34,240,767.
The biggest changes to the upcoming year are the hiring of two new employees and the purchase of eight new police cars rather than the usual six. The eight police vehicles were the single largest purchase, according to City Administrator Dennis Harmon.
The city will hire one new maintenance worker and one new mechanic.
Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler called the budget balanced and flat. There was little discussion of the budget at the Sept. 10 meeting, but the budget was discussed at an Aug. 29 workshop.
“Since 2008 the city budget has been a challenge because we went from considerable growth to almost none,” Harmon said. “We went from 500 new homes to 200 new homes a year.”
Harmon said each new police vehicle costs about $50,000. The equipment that goes into the vehicles costs about as much as the vehicles themselves, he said.
“All of the department heads do not ask for anything frivolous,” Harmon said. “If it were, it would not get past me.”
Public Works Director Steve Price said the vehicle fleet size is increasing and work orders are going up. Currently there is one working supervisor and two mechanics in the shop.
“The workload has increased dramatically,” Price said, adding that the mechanics are working longer hours. “Because of the maintenance we do, we keep vehicles in our fleet longer than other municipalities.”
Price said in the long run this saves money.
“This is a good, solid, conservative budget,” Harmon said. “I recommend it for first reading.”