Landrum City Council adopts 2015-16 budget, continues public restroom discussion

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Landrum City Council met at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, in a conference room located in City Hall to conduct a work session prior to the regular meeting.  Council members discussed the addition of public restrooms and considered quotes. The council favored two styles.

The first, a mobile restroom constructed by Portable Restroom Trailers, LLC, contains three toilets and one urinal. The trailer was quoted at $39,480. A smaller version held the price tag of $34,980. The trailer, which looks similar to an RV, is ADA-compliant and accommodates wheelchairs. The unit has the ability to be relocated if necessary, as it is capable of functioning in a standalone configuration.

The second option is a permanent structure constructed by Green River Cabins, similar to the public restrooms located at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Council agreed that while not as versatile as the trailer, it is much more aesthetically pleasing, and could be placed in a strategic location to serve the whole downtown area. Mayor Bob Briggs had not yet received the quote for the fixed location unit from Green River Cabins and suggested the topic be tabled until July.

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In the regular 6 p.m. meeting within the council chambers, the city council unanimously passed the budget for the upcoming year. Revenues are projected at $1,479,659.95 and expenses $1,442,575.16. The adopted budget remained relatively constant in comparison to 2014.

“There will be no tax increases, and no millage rate increases,” Landrum Mayor Bob Briggs announced to attendees just before voting. The proposed city millage remained at 73.9 mils.

The Landrum Fire Department’s budget of $205,000 was removed due to the creation of the Landrum Fire and Rescue special purpose district, according to City Administrator Caitlin Martin. The SPD, signed into law June 3, creates fiscal independence for the department.

Another agenda item was the election of two representatives from Landrum to sit on the five-member board within the SPD’s coverage, but after discussion, council members decided they needed more time to nominate and select from additional candidates.

“We’re not quite ready to appoint our commissioners at this time,” said Briggs, postponing the selection.

Council members voted to adopt Ordinance 2015-01 for a local accommodations tax in anticipation of future tourism growth, which calls for a 1.5 percent tax.

For the month of May, Landrum Police Chief Tim Edgens reported 47 traffic citations. Six arrests and 20 citations were issued for criminal incidents, with 10 being possession of drug paraphernalia. The police department conducted 11 criminal investigations and issued 108 citations throughout the month. Three bench warrants were served. Edgens attributed the increase from April through May to warmer weather.

The Landrum Police Department recently outfitted all officers in contact with the public with body cameras. The policy was adopted June 1. The cameras are night vision capable and can also be used to take still pictures.

“Hopefully it will keep us out of litigation in the court and also give us a little quality assurance in how we do business,” explained Edgens, ”From an administrative standpoint that’s very important.”

Landrum Fire Department Chief Warren Ashmore reported 27 calls in the month of May.


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