WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Williamsburg County Supervisor Dr. Tiffany Wright is looking to fix county finances with a three-phase plan. The result could save the county $1.5 million by the end of 2022.
The county has had financial problems for a long time, and COVID-19 made it worse. Wright says this plan could be a permanent solution.
Phase one of the plan is to lay-off about 15 people, continue with furloughs, and push the county’s early retirement plan, which allows eligible people to leave early while receiving a benefits package.
The second phase looks at combining departments. Instead of having multiple directors, they would allow one director to oversee the department.
“One of our consolidation efforts is our building grounds, recreation, and a portion of our solid waste department, and that was the brainchild of one of our directors,” Wright said. “For my office, I will not be replacing my payroll person, that will be taken up by someone on this floor. I will not have my own administrative assistant. I will be sharing with council. Yes, we’re going to work harder, but work smarter as well.”
Phase three involves consolidating assets which Wright says will take longer than the other phases that are currently underway.
“We’re going to have to figure out how to consolidate some of the items such as parks. There’s more that we can do, so we’re going to heavily rely on our council members to think about consolidation,” Wright said. “We have 35 buildings that we are responsible for maintaining out there, so can we give some of those buildings to the community and allow them to take care of them because we spend upwards of $170,000 plus just on electricity bills.”
Jonathan Miller, a Williamsburg County councilman, says while these decisions are tough, the plan may be best for the county.
“This is county government, but it’s still a business and there’s some things we have to do to become fiscally responsible to our citizens,” Miller said.
After these phases are complete, Wright hopes to add on more phases that look at investing back into county employees.