Council gives preliminary approval to spending plan, honors youth

by | May 31, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: May 29, 2019 at 11:20 am

By JULIE HOFF
widdleswife@aol.com

Cottageville Town Council gave first reading to its proposed 2019-2020 budget before dozens of residents at council’s monthly meeting on May 20. Preliminary approval was given without a single person inquiring about the dollar amount of revenues or expenditures.
A line-item budget requested by the media shows projected revenues of $1.9 million, which seems a gigantic increase from last year’s budget of $619,000. The leap is actually the result of a $1.2 million insurance settlement the town received after the old Cottageville Elementary gym on Salley Ackerman Drive burned down in February 2018.
According to the proposed budget, the $1.2 million is earmarked for building repairs and maintenance. It’s unclear if officials still plan to deposit those funds in an interest-bearing account for a projected annual yield of up to $22,000, as previously announced.
Court fines, local option sales tax and franchise fees and other revenues totaling $727,280 comprise the remainder of the budget.
Expenditures include $260,000 for police salaries; $59,000 for town employee salaries, plus $36,000 for health insurance; $67,000 for police uniforms, gas, fleet payments and repairs/maintenance; $5,000 for emergency preparedness; and $1,700 for the Cottageville branch of the Colleton County Public Library.
The budget is expected to take effect after second reading at council’s June meeting. The town’s fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30.
In other news, town officials, police and dozens of friends and family honored Larry Jenkins, a local youth who provided first aid to his mother after she was injured by a shotgun blast on April 24.
Police Chief Jeffery Cook said the child displayed immense bravery as he consoled his bleeding mother in the aftermath of the shooting.
He applied pressure to her wounds; when she said she couldn’t breathe, “He told her, ‘I’ll breathe for you,’” Cook said. “He’s become my hero.”
Larry received a standing ovation after he was presented with a framed certificate commemorating his heroism.
In unrelated events, Councilman Betty Rhode pointed out that a rash of auto and outbuilding break-ins reported in dozens of social media posts aren’t occurring within town limits but in outlying areas with Cottageville mailing addresses.

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