Pickens finalizes budget

PICKENS — The city of Pickens officially has a finalized budget for the coming year.
After a unanimous vote with all council members present, the city adopted a 2011-2012 general fund and a utility fund budget during Monday night’s regular monthly meeting at city hall.

The general fund budget will see a 4.08 percent increase. The increase will be funded by a 4.41 millage. The utility fund budget sees a $126,500 increase in the coming year.

In other business, councilman Carlton Holley announced that the School District of Pickens County has decided to donate the auditorium seats in the current Pickens High School to the city for use in the Hagood Senior Center.

The seats will be installed at the facility on Hagood Street. Holley said that SDPC only asked that the city have the seats removed from PHS.

According to officials, the school district opted to donate the seats after it was determined that the cost of salvaging the seats would be greater than any possible resale value.

Council also voted to adopt a new handbook for employees. The city had originally proposed changing a policy that allowed long-time employees to accumulate up to 81 days leave be changed to 60 days. But after further discussion and sifting through the budget to finds ways to cover the liability of the added days, council passed the book of employee policies, allowing the 81-day ceiling to remain. Mayor David Owens lauded city administrator Katherine Brackett’s work in finding ways to cover the added liability to the city.

Councilwoman Pattie Welborn reminded council of the planned Palmetto Pride Cleanup day set for April 9 at Jaycee Park. All volunteers will be asked to come at 9 a.m. and work to noon.

“We will not be able to spread mulch, because we are waiting on borders to help hold it in place, but we have much to do,” Brackett said. “We can paint, clean Towne Creek and many other things.”

“We need to clean up the park,” Owens said. “So everyone that wants to help is asked to bring their yard tools.”

In other matters, council voted to pass the first reading of an ordinance that will adopt a Uniform Ordinance Summons. The summons will be a way for officers to issue violators to certain ordinances a citation that can be delivered by registered mail. Once the letter is signed for it is considered legally delivered. The ordinance will be most helpful to landowners that are in violation, but live out of town.
Council also voted to pass the first reading to annex a property at 109 City View Circle into the city.