Board of Aldermen adopt budget

Published 12:39 pm Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Columbia Board of Aldermen on June 5 adopted a town budget that sets the property tax at 60.1 cents per $100 valuation, up from $0.456 in the current budget.

The big jump in tax rate was prompted by a loss of $13.8 million, from $56.6 million to $42.97 million, in taxable value following the recent revaluation.

The plan calls for spending $452,725 on General Government, $13,500 on Public Buildings, $129,000 for Public Safety, $132,220 for Streets, $5,950 for Mosquito Control, and $13,350 for Parks and Drainage, for a total of $746,745.

A two-percent salary increase was approved for the town’s seven employees, and $5,000 was earmarked for the municipal election next November.

$50,769 was taken from the General Fund balance to equalize revenues with appropriations.

In the $744,589 Water and Sewer Fund, $218,502 was appropriated for Administration, $306,700 for Operations, $3,994 for Non-Departmental Expenses, $123,893 for Debt Service, and $11,500 for Planning.

The debt service payment is the annual installment on a $2.2 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade financed for 39 years at 2.5% interest, Mayor Michael Griffin explained. Value of the upgrade was about $9 million, the remainder provided through grants.

Water and sewer rates were unchanged.

No one spoke during the public hearing on the spending plan on June 5.