Berkeley council delaying budget

Josh Whitley

Unable to agree on a budget for next fiscal year, Berkeley County Council on Monday passed a resolution to allow it to continue operating when the current budget ends Tuesday.

The budget has been approved on two readings, but Councilman Josh Whitley made a motion to table it until a workshop is held in July. He also moved to pass the continuing resolution to allow the government to continue at current funding levels through July.

“The administration and the council are working together to have a budget we can all be proud of, and the administration is still running some numbers,” Whitley said of tabling it.

On May 27, the Council gave second reading approval to a $66.4 million operating budget that would bring the tax bill for a owner-occupied $150,000 house to $300, a $30 increase, but Whitley and several other councilmen said they would not support a tax increase.

Deputy Supervisor Tim Callanan said Supervisor Bill Peagler is hopeful the budget will be worked out at a special meeting July 13.

The budget includes an up to 5 percent merit increase and a “small” cost of living increase for employees starting in October, he said.

It also includes funds for an additional sheriff’s deputy on patrol each of the four daily shifts and eight officers for the detention center, which will allow the county to open an unused third floor.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.