City Council Adopts FY 2024-25 Budget

Newberry City Council unanimously passed second reading Tuesday to adopt the budget and levy taxes for Fiscal Year 2024-25. Total operating budget for all activity in the City of Newberry will come in at $58,842,244.
The budget will also see a millage tax increase of 1.7 mills. There will also be a two-dollar garbage fee adjustment.
“This budget does a lot of things and will have a big impact,” Mayor Foster Senn said.
Motion to pass second reading was made by Councilperson Lemont Glasgow and seconded by Councilperson Edwin Wicker. The budget will take effect July 1, 2024.
Old Business
Under old business, council approved several second readings regarding amending Article II of Chapter 9 and more clearly specify rates for electrical, water and sewer services.
These ordinances modify the previous five-year rate schedules adopted by City Council for electrical, water and sewer services and amends certain sections to remove the redundant stating of rates and charges so that all rates are more clearly specified in one area.
As part of the rate schedule, each will see a small increase of 2%. Utility Director Tim Baker said that the average customer would see an increase of approximately $5-6 per month across electric, water and sewer services combined.
Also under old business, council passed second reading of ordinances that would amend sections of code to allow and establish a comprehensive fee schedule.
A public hearing for this ordinance was conducted earlier in the meeting, with no one speaking in favor or opposition of the ordinance.
Second reading was also passed by council to repeal section 4-3 of Article 1, Chapter 4 pertaining to residential development incentives. In 2018, council established a residential development incentive to offset developers’ costs associated with the construction of water/sewer main lines.
Senn said the ordinance was critical in the development of Newberry Landing. However, it looked like the city may not need that incentive anymore. Motion to approve second reading was made by Councilperson David Dubose and seconded by Councilperson Jackie Holmes.
New Business
Under new business, council approved first reading of an ordinance to amend Article V and VI of the zoning ordinance to better address the placement of automotive repair and maintenance.
The ordinance authorizes automotive and repair maintenance businesses via a conditional use in the general commercial zoning district, in addition to its authorization as a conditional use in the limited industrial district and a permitted use in the basic industrial district.
The general commercial district is intended to accommodate a variety of general commercial and non-residential uses engaged primarily in the sale of durable goods, equipment and services. Other similar uses are presently authorized in the general commercial district, namely: commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance, automobile parts and accessories and tire stores.
Planning and Development Director Wayne Redfern told council that the proposed ordinance had been reviewed and approved by the Newberry Planning Commission at their meeting on Monday, June 17.
A motion to approve first reading was made by Councilperson Carlton Kinard and seconded by Holmes.
Council also passed first reading of an ordinance to comply with the South Carolina public employee benefit authority for participation in the state insurance benefits program regarding municipal councilmember coverage.
This ordinance allows for council members to continue to participate in the state health insurance plan on the same terms and conditions as regular employees of the City of Newberry. Driggers said information received earlier that day clarified by PEBA that it could be classified as a resolution that a majority of councilmembers must sign.
Motion to approve first reading of the resolution was made by Glasgow and seconded by Holmes. Senn and all 6 councilmembers signed the resolution
Sheila Brown and Stephen Bayuk were reappointed to the Newberry Planning Commission on Tuesday. Motion to approve the reappointments was made by Kinard and seconded by Holmes. Both Brown and Bayuk’s terms will expire in June 2027.
Caroline Robinson was then appointed to the Newberry Housing Authority Board with a motion from Glasgow and seconded by Wicker. Robinson’s term will expire in June 2029.
City Council will meet again on Tuesday, July 9 at 7 p.m.