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Elgin OKs budget
Plans update of zoning maps
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The S.C. Treasury Department never gave Elgin Town Council a specific formula to predict the Local Option Sales Tax Revenue, so Mayor Brad Hanley performed the calculations and figured out the numbers on his own.

As a result, Elgin Town Council decided to operate on a $722,700 budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year, a figure that is $10,000 more than the initial projected budget.

The increase comes from a higher estimate in the Local Option Sales Tax revenue but is balanced out by a comprehensive land use program added to the budget’s expenses. The program updates the Elgin’s zoning map and establishes how land will be used. The program did not appear in the first budget because council members were waiting on an estimate from Bismor & Associates Inc., which created the town’s previous zoning map. Council hadn’t heard back from the company when members voted to pass the budget.

According to Hanley, the new map is due at the end of 2012, so the cost of the program may carry over into next year’s budget as well. 

“There’s a possibility that we’ll get it all done in our fiscal year, that’s why we put it in,” Hanley said. “There’s also a possibility we might incur half the expense this fiscal year and half the next.”

Hanley said the town is going to make its own spreadsheets in order to watch revenue patterns and there is a possibility that the council will amend the budget if the prediction is too low or high.

Also in the new budget, the purchase of a police car increased from $27,500 to $30,000 in order to add a camera for officer’s safety and legal issues. Police Chief Harold Brown said they were hoping for the camera to be provided by the state, but that wasn’t a certainty yet. Brown also said the price of cameras have gone up from $2,800 to $4,300. The increase in price results from technology transitioning from VHS to DVD recording.

Council passed the budget passed unanimously; Councilman Roger Ross was not in attendance because he was out of town.

In other business, Councilman Bubba Ernst suggested council review all contracted services such as maintenance, landscaping and trash in order to make sure costs and services are satisfactory. Council agreed to compile a list of the contracts to formally review.