A smaller budget deficit than last year and potential new businesses are forecasted for York County.
County leaders got the news Saturday during an all-day orientation for the newly seated York County Council.
New businesses may include distribution and manufacturing companies, bringing hundreds of jobs and millions in investments, said York County economic development official Mark Farris during a three-hour bus tour of the county's industrial and business parks.
According to Farris:
A large-scale distribution operation is eyeing southeastern Rock Hill for a $100 million investment that would create around 600 jobs over the coming years.
A manufacturing company is considering a $10 million investment, creating more than 100 jobs in the East York Industrial Park.
A consumer product distribution company is considering RiverWalk in Rock Hill.
The county attracted $167 million in investments and 845 jobs through new companies and expansions in 2010, a moderate increase from the previous year, he said.
"It's the best situation we've been in over the last six months," he said, hopeful the trend will continue.
County staff previewed the financial outlook for the fiscal year, which begins July 1.
As in the previous year, projected expenditures are more than projected revenues.
Projected revenues are $73.5 million while projected expenditures are $79.1 million, said Beth Latham, county treasurer. She said that is her "worst-case scenario."
These figures are based on no changes in staffing and no merit pay increases, which were last distributed in October 2008.
The $5.6 million shortfall is only half that of last year's deficit, which means the county is in much better shape, County Manager Jim Baker said.
Personnel cuts are not being considered now.
Last year the county laid off 21 employees and made budget cuts across departments and agencies.
The cuts were designed to see the county through another year or two without requiring similar, severe reductions, Baker has said.
This year, Baker wants to address the county's use of its reserve fund.
"The good news is, we've got substantial reserves," he said. "The bad news is, for the last few years, we've been spending more money than we've been bringing in, and that's not sustainable."
"I'm confident in what administration is working out," said Council Chairman Britt Blackwell, commending them for their frugality.
"We'll have to look at everything and make a solid decision for the taxpayers."