Kingstree: the small town with a big problem -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Kingstree: the small town with a big problem

. - KINGSTREE, SC (WMBF) – The Town of Kingstree is on the brink of shutting down. It comes down simply to a disagreement over the budget. 

The bottom line means you will lose out on all town services come the first of July.

That includes a response from the Kingstree Police and Fire Departments, along with any type of court services and water and sewage.

Anyone receiving a paycheck from the Town of Kingstree could lose their job at the end of this month if the Town Council cannot come to an agreement to pass the budget.

So, how does this happen?

Ricky Burrows, the mayor of Kingstree, explained it came down to a tied-vote. Mayor Burrows said during this week's meeting, three council members voted down the budget, making the budget fail in a 3-3 vote.

According to the mayor, those council members are Luester McCullough, Darren Tisdale, and Bubba Hammet. He said they are the same members who turned down the budget last year. Last year, the budget barely passed with a vote of 4-3. However, one council
member was missing during this week's meeting.

The mayor explained there were multiple meetings leading up to this point where the council discussed the budget, he said none of the council members expressed opposition to the budget.

WMBF News reporter Stephanie Robusto called each of the council members to get their point of view on the budget. Hammet did not pick up or return her calls. McCullough said she could not answer the questions.

Tisdale shared his concern, saying he wanted to see an itemized list, breaking down the budget. He said there wasn't necessarily anything wrong with the budget, but that he wanted the council to be more educated on the issue before voting. 

There seems to be a list detailing the budget available online through the town's website, it breaks down each cost over the last few fiscal years.

It could come down to community involvement, with people living in the area demanding action.

The mayor said the council plans to discuss the budget again on Monday, June 15th. There will also be a public hearing later this month for the community to get involved.

If the issue is not resolved by the end of the month, the mayor said the state may have to step in. 

At the very least, the mayor stresses the need to keep people with the Waste Water and Public Works Departments.  He doesn't know at this time how the town will pay them without the budget but says Kingstree simply can't operate without clean water and a waste water system.

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