City of Florence discusses proposed $86 million fiscal budget

City of Florence discusses proposed $86 million fiscal budget

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The city of Florence is creating its budget for the next fiscal year totaling more than $86 million.

City leaders held a special budget work session to discuss the new fiscal year budget.

The general funding dollars is up an additional $1.1 million from the current fiscal year, which is proposed at $34.4 million. The water, sewer and utilities budget is also up an additional $1 million.

Florence City Manager Drew Griffin said city leaders wants to stay ahead of the game with pending projects. One is a proposed sewer relocation project for the main line currently running through Jeffries Creek that could cost as much as $30 million.

The first phase totals nearly six miles of sewer work in Jeffries Creek, as well as a pump line to move out of its current flood plain location to become more easily accessible.

"That sewer interceptor line is nearing capacity and the city is going to have to build more capacity in that line and probably in a year to two years the city will begin some engineering design in that," Griffin said.

He added that the $33 million in the 2017 fiscal year budget will go toward stormwater and utilizes needs.

City officials said it's their job to create this balanced budget and never spend more than the approved money, and spend it appropriately.

"I think the most positive thing about the budget numbers is the growth within our community," Griffin said. "We are certainly seeing some rebound from the recession, and we are certainly seeing growth in hospitality. It's not hard to see the new hotels and restaurants that have gone up."

Griffin also touted the hospitality industry as being a revenue driver for the city.

"No question the power of restaurants, the power of hotels are a big part of our economy," he said. "All you have to do is go to I-20, I-95 and see the number of hotels that have been built in the last couple of years and the ones that are being proposed."

The city's goal is also to take care of important recreation projects such as the one happening on Barnes Street.

"We have added a couple positions, because we are adding a new gym and a new soccer complex," Griffin said. "So that will take growth in recreation and man those and maintain those facilities."

On May 8, the city will hold a public hearing for the budget. Following that, a work session will take place before the final reading of the budget is adopted in June.

The new fiscal year starts July 1, 2017.

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