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Bamberg County Council Approves Second Reading Print E-mail

Bamberg County Council members gave second reading approval to a $7,668,651 budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 at their Monday, June 7, monthly meeting. The proposed budget will not include a millage increase and will include a three percent pay increase for county employees.

It was noted that the 2010- 11 county budget which represents an approximately $110,000 increase over last year’s budget of $7,552,000 provided for a “solid reserve fund” of about 21-22 percent and will not over extend the budget.

“We’ll be fine as far as reserves,” County Administrator Rose Dobson- Elliott said during discussion of the proposed budget. “We would like to have more (reserve fund money) each year; we try to increase the reserves each year. Nobody’s trying to spend money when it is not needed; everybody jumped in and tighten their belts when needed,” Dobson- Elliott added.

The Mary Ann Morris Animal Shelter (MAMAS), County GIS System, the Public Defender’s Office and the County Library were all beneficiaries of funding increases. The budget also includes $22,000 set aside for funding benefits for retiring county employees after 28 years of service. Council also funded 15 of 16 recreation grant applications in the 2010- 11 budget.

Bamberg County Sheriff Ed. Darnell said that he thought the county was going in the right direction in providing insurance benefits for retirees. “It’s rough times for all of us,” Sheriff Darnell said. “I’m very pleased, I would not accept the insurance if I had to tonight, but there are others that need to. I think that you are moving in the right direction with your retirees. We do appreciate what you do.”

Also during the meeting:

. Council members heard a report from Bamberg County Principal Administrator Carl Menist, who reported the hospital “had another pretty good month.” It was noted that net revenues for April were $1.6 million and expenses were down $1.5 million for net revenue of $63,000. Year-to-date revenues for the hospital are $11,968,000 compared to a total last year this time of $11,956,000. It was noted that expenses for the hospital are down from last year. Year-to-date the hospital has shown a profit of $551,000. Collections for the month were $1,7 million.

Members of council thanked Menist for job he is doing at the hospital. “It looks like Carl (Menist) has a good source of stabilized revenue,” Councilmember Chris Wilson noted.

. County Finance Director Thomas M. Thomas reported the county has collected approximately 85 percent of projected revenue or approximately $6, 401,971. The County’s expenditures year-to-date are approximately $6,728,240. Thomas noted that with one month to go in the fiscal year the County has approximately $824,134 on hand. “It doesn’t look like we will exceed the budget,” Thomas said.

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