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City Council Gives Final Approval to Budget

Daniel Prince

Council approves first reading of redistricting ordinance

At Tuesday’s Union City Council meeting, council gave second and final approval to the budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The budget is 18% larger than the previous year, and much of that is from the utility department. A big chunk of that increase is in the cost of purchasing natural gas. Other increases are also due to inflation. City employees will receive a 2% cost of living raise in the budget. There is no proposed tax increase, and utility rates will remain the same. Taxpayers will continue to receive a credit against their property taxes due to the local option sales tax. A $5 disposal fee will again be added to tax notices this year. The general fund budget, which faces a $752,410 deficit, will be balanced through a transfer from the fund balance. The utility fund, which faces a deficit of $3,363,440, will be balanced through retained earnings. The tax levy, which also received unanimous approval, remains at 93.5 mills, unchanged from this year.

Council also approved second and final reading on the annexation and rezoning requests for properties at 107 Mims Lane and 509 North Duncan Bypass. The property currently houses a produce stand and a digital billboard. The properties are expected to be sold and be a site for a retail restaurant. The properties will be zoned A-2 Highway Commercial.

In new business, council approved first reading of the redistricting ordinance. The SC Office of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs prepared the draft, which has a goal of bringing the districts closer to equal representation. The current map had a deviation of more than 50% between the smallest and largest district, and the new map has a deviation of 6.46%. Ideal district size is 1362. In the new map, the smallest proposed district is District 1, with 1321 people, a -3.03% deviation. The largest district would be District 4 with 1409, a 3.43% deviation. The public can view the draft map at Union City Hall over the next month to make suggestions. The redistricting plan will be up for final reading at the July council meeting.

We’ll have more from the meeting in tomorrow’s newscast.

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