Polk interim manager presents draft budget

Published 3:35 pm Friday, May 31, 2013

The across the board salary increases will include a 2.5 percent increase to be effective Jan. 1, 2014 at a total cost of $88,044.

The new budget also includes tax increases for the Saluda and Mill Spring Fire Departments. Saluda’s recommended increase is one cent while Mill Spring’s is 1.5 cents.

Citizen comments included from Cindy Walker, who complimented commissioners on their budget worksessions and said she agrees with commissioners when they say the county needs to look at revenues versus expenditures and that the county needs to be run like a business. She also suggested that commissioners ask themselves what portion of services should be covered by property taxes and what percentage through fees and said that structure should be across the board to every department. Walker said it seemed to her that some departments weren’t held to the same standards.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Walker also said while she appreciates the county giving taxpayer money back in terms of a tax decrease, she discussed it with her family and they’ve decided that individually the tax decrease is not going to make a big difference but collectively the county could fund something else so she offered to give her family’s $3.57 back to the county.

Margaret Parker said she is thankful this board of commissioners is supportive of the sheriff’s office, fire departments and emergency services, but wishes the county would examine some requests more closely, like funding a car for administration but not funding a DSS child social worker.

“It is my hope and actually my prayer that people will understand that protecting living children is just as important as protecting the unborn,” Parker said.

Virginia Walker mentioned commissioners saying they are considering raising prices next year for the pool.

“Raising prices doesn’t raise more money,” Walker said.

She said for recreation, families say they can’t afford it so they don’t go. She said the county will either pay for the kids at the pool or later when they are in trouble.

“You want to keep them healthy or keep them out of trouble, you best have them in music or have them in sports, Walker said. “Don’t raise our prices, it’s not going to work.”

Other residents urged commissioners to fund the Foothills Humane Society’s (FHS) requested increase that is not included in the proposed budget. FHS is on the county’s agenda for tonight Monday, June 3 that begins at 7 p.m. The county’s public hearing for the budget is scheduled for June 10 at 7 p.m. Commissioners will vote on the budget during their regular meeting June 17.