City Council approves FY 2021/2022 city budget

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The Charleston City Council approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Tuesday night.

The budget sets aside money for things like public services, salaries of public servants and items within the various city-run departments. 

Along with approving the budget set to start May 1, the council also approved amendments to the current budget.

Changes can be seen in the general fund, motor fuel tax fund, tax increment financing fund and water and sewer fund. The changes were made to reflect the difference from what the city expected versus what actually happened throughout the past year.

Additionally, changes to water and sewer rates and ambulance rates were approved during the meeting. Both will see an increase.

Currently the rates for water and sewer service within corporate limits are $15.94 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000 gallons and $15.34 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 10,000 gallons.

The rate for Eastern is $15.34 per 1,000 gallons.

The rates for the use of water services only within corporate limits are $14.49 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000 gallons and $13.93 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 10,000 gallons.

Following the ordinance’s approval, rates for water and sewer service within corporate limits will be $16.42 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000 gallons and $15.76 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 10,000 gallons.

The rate for Eastern will be $15.76 per 1,000 gallons.

The rates for the use of water services only within corporate limits will be $14.78 per 1,000 gallons for the first 10,000 gallons and $14.12 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 10,000 gallons.

Ambulance rates saw an increase that will continue annually from now on.

Calls for basic life-support for all residents of the city, including full-time Eastern students will increase from $484 to $500, advanced life support will increase from $760 to $783 and advance life support II will increase from $910 to $938.

Calls for basic life-support for all non-residents of the city will increase from $685 to $70, advanced life support will increase from $1,085 to $1.117 and advance life support II will increase from $1,300 to $1,340. 

All will be charged $15 per loaded mile compared to the current $14.

A change in language is another part of the ambulance rate amendment. Currently, ambulance fees are evaluated annually and adjusted if deemed necessary; now with the approval of an ordinance, ambulance fees will automatically increase by three percent and rounded to the nearest dollar annually on May 1.

Four resolutions provided sensible rehabilitation with tax increment financing.

Mike and Stand’s 504 requested no more than $10,000, Z’s Music and Sound requested no more than $10,000, Geisler and Weaver requested no more than $9,211 and Hortenstine Properties requested no more than $3,675.

The council waived bidding procedures on two 2021 Ford Ranger pick-up trucks for the Code Enforcement department. The purchase is not to exceed $56,234. 

The city will purchase the vehicles from Pilson Auto Center.

The council amended city traffic code on crosswalks and highway solicitation. Specifically, the council repealed and replaced 6-1-9 of the city code with the following language:

“Section 6-1-9: Impeding Pedestrian or Vehicular Traffic: No person shall completely or substantially impede the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic in, on, or around any sidewalk or public property, way, or place. No person shall have the exclusive right to any sidewalk or public property, way, or place, nor the right to establish a stationary location therein.”

Included in the ordinance the council approved replacing 6-1-3(D) with “Pedestrian crossings at other than designated and marked crosswalks or at intersections are prohibited.”

The council approved Mayor Brandon Comb’s reappointment of Heather Kuykendall two-year term on the Police Pension Fund Board and Mike Monahan to a three-year term on the Charleston Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees.

A temporary street closure was approved for the Charleston High School Senior Graduation Parade.

The route will be beginning at Fifteenth Street south of Harrison Avenue to Smith Drive; proceeding west on Harrison Avenue to Seventh Street; then north on Seventh Street to Monroe Avenue; then west on Monroe Avenue to Sixth Street; then south on Sixth  Street to Harrison Avenue; then back east on Harrison Avenue to Fifteenth Street and south on Fifteenth Street to Smith Drive.

The parade will be on May 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The resolution said ” Charleston High School Senior Class of 2021

Graduation Parade is a new tradition and as such a benefit to our community.”

Three proclamations were made, one naming the month of May Mental Health Awareness Month, one naming May Motorcycle Awareness Month and another naming May 2 through May 8 Professional Municipal Clerks Week.

The continuation of the local state of emergency was approved. 

According to the resolution, “The nature of the emergency is the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude that it may result in or threaten the death or illness of persons to such an extent that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Charleston, and thereby it has warranted an emergency declaration for all states and local government entities and more specifically within the corporate limits of the City of Charleston.”

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]