Williamsburg County Council passes ordinance to fix budget deficit

VIDEO: Williamsburg County Council passes ordinance to fix budget deficit

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Williamsburg County has found a way to make up for lost money in their budget.

On Monday, county council passed an ordinance to resolve an estimated $970,000 budget deficit.

After months of debate, the county had roughly 10 options to choose from to make up for that money.

Options one through 7B involved furloughing employees or establishing a one-time temporary emergency fee for residents.

County Council voted for option 9 which was brought up for the first time during the Oct. 17 county council meeting. The option includes reducing recycling hours, cutting line item costs, auctioning off equipment, and adding a FEMA reimbursement to the budget.

“I believe this option will benefit everyone because no taxpayer or none of our employees have to be burdened with the deficit that we faced coming into my administration,” said Dr. Tiffany Wright, the county supervisor for Williamsburg County.

Going into the 2019-2020 budget season the county already had a deficit of almost 5 million dollars.

Wright says this deficit was caused by a salary increase for one of the county’s public safety agencies, as well as an increase in retirement, insurance, and some unbalanced items from the previous budget.

Reducing recycling hours to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday will bring in about $106,093 for the county. Reducing budget line items and appropriations would bring in roughly $174,000. The FEMA reimbursement could bring in over $445,000 and auctioning off equipment would be another $174,000.

Wright says the FEMA reimbursement is a one-time payment that will be going helping the deficit.

“During a storm if it’s a declared disaster, you would be able to get reimbursed for some of the activities you prepared the county for, for a disaster,” Wright said. “In that case, we were able to submit for a reimbursement and we’ll get back a substantial amount of money.”

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