City Council hears overview of 2015 budget
Budget proposal includes small millage and fee increases
At at workshop held after their regular meeting on Monday night, Spartanburg City Council got its first overview of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins on July 1. Included in City Staff's proposal to Council is a small property tax millage increase of up to 1.9 percent, which amounts to $8 on a $100,000 home. Additionally, staff recommended a $0.50 increase in the monthly fee the City charges residents for waste pickup, which includes garbage, recycling, bulk and green waste, and phased-in increases in workday garage parking rates.
Citing decreases in state aid (from $1.27 million in 2009 to $911,000 in 2015), a decrease of $300,000 in the payment the City receives from the Spartanburg Commission of Public Works, and stable but flat property tax and business license revenues, Assistant City Manager Chris Story said that the millage and fee increases are necessary to fund a three percent inflationary increase in the budget. Council will consider the first reading of next year's budget at its next meeting on May 27.
Also at the workshop, Council heard an overview of a possible plan to assist Hub City Co-op in opening a grocery story Downtown. Under the scenario Staff presented to Council, the City would match $350,000 in private funding raised by the Co-op, with $200,000 coming in the form of a zero interest loan, with the remaining $150,000 being disbursed in a grant paid monthly over four years. Council is expected to decide on the plan at its next meeting on May 27.
Also at last night's meeting:
• Council approved 7-0 the rezoning of a property located at 579 West Main Street from General Business District to Limited Office District to allow the property owner to use the building located there as a two-family rental unit, or possible future office space.
• Council also approved 7-0 the rezoning of a property located at 201 Cedar Springs Road to allow for construction of a new Walmart Neighborhood Market. The small residential parcel is located in front of the proposed store, and will likely serve as an attached gas station. The main property for the Walmart Neighborhood Market is currently located outside city limits, but will likely be annexed later under last year's agreement with the Spartanburg Commission of Public Works.
For more on last night's City Council meeting, see the full video below as well as a roundup of our live tweets from the meeting.