City Council Gives Final Approval to Fiscal Year 2014 Budget
Budget takes effect on July 1
At their meeting on Monday, Spartanburg City Council gave final approval, 6-0 to approve a $33.6 million operating budget for fiscal year 2014. Council member Cate Ryba recused herself from the vote. Ryba serves as Executive Director of Hub-Bub, which recieves City support. The budget goes into effect on July 1. Highlights include:
° A one percent cost-of-living raise for city employees at a cost of around $200,000. Half of the raise will be used to offset an incrrease in employee compensation to the State Retirement System. Under the budget, City employees would realize a net increase in take home pay of one-half of one percent.
° An additional $200,000 for employee health insurance. While the longer-term picture for the City's Medical Insurance Fund remains positive, this increase will help to ensure the stability of the fund, according to Assistant City Manager Chris Story.
° Around $200,000 in savings from the planned closure of the Swim Center later this year. Ultimately, savings from the closure should total around $400,000 annually, but this fiscal year those savings will be smaller in order to keep the center open through the summer, as well as the cost of demolishing the facility. Also included in the budget is $200,000 for future quality of life spending to be allocated at City Council's discretion during the year.
° Around $320,000 in savings from holding currently vacant staff positions open for some or all of the coming fiscal year. There are no new positions recommended in the budget.
° A potential property tax increase of up to 2.9 percent depending on the results of the property reassessment no occurring countywide. Under the budget, the maximum potential tax increase would result in roughly a $12 higher tax bill for a $100,000 home according to City Manager Ed Memmott.
Also at last night's meeting, Council agreed unanimously to allow a special assessment designation for the Schuyler Apartment builidng, which is being being renovated by Developer Pace Burt of Albany, Georgia. Under the designation, taxes on the property would stay the same for a minimum of five years, and which could extended to ten years if certain conditions are met. Once renovated, the building will boast 88 units, and will include a fitness center on top in what was previously one of the building's suites.
For more on last night's meeting see the full video below, as well as a roundup of our live tweets.