Loris City Council unanimously approved a $6.4 million budget for the 2021-22 year with no tax increases Wednesday — the evening before the start of the new fiscal year.
The $6.4 budget is broken into three separate funds: the general fund, the water and sewer fund and the American Rescue fund. The budget will increase police pay, allow vacant positions to be filled and give a 2% cost of living raise to all employees across the city.
Council members voted unanimously Wednesday night following a public hearing. Councilors Jan Vescovi and Terrence Hardee were not present during the public hearing and special meeting.
Both the general fund and water and sewer budgets were balanced without using a fund balance, city officials said.
The general fund revenues are budgeted to increase from $3.4 million to $3.5 million in the new fiscal year. Expenditures in the general fund will increase from $3.2 million to $3.5 million.
City council voted for a downward adjustment of the water and sewer budget, with the budget’s total revenues decreasing from $3.3 million to $2.2 million. That same decrease was passed for the fund’s expenditures.
The American Rescue fund — federal funds made up of about $687,000 — is not considered revenue, but will be used as aid. The funds could go toward water and sewer infrastructure, revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public safety pay and economic development impacted by the pandemic.
Revenues are expected to increase by nearly $1.2 million or 34%. Many of the city’s year-to-date expenditures are significantly lower than what was budgeted for this fiscal year.
A large portion of the overall budget is allocated to the police department, which is set at more than $950,000 for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
In the new budget, the city has budgeted $20,000 for a victim’s advocate.
The milage rate will remain at 110.8 mills for the upcoming fiscal year.
The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, 2022.