The town is looking to create a new, $80,000 a year position with the title of operations manager, according to a proposed budget for 2014-15.
If approved, the position’s job description will be to serve as an assistant to the town manager, town spokeswoman Kimberly Starnes said. In July Town Council approved a 9 percent raise for Town Manager Dennis Pieper, boosting his salary to $127,5777 a year, not counting perks.
The town hopes to have the position filled sometime this fall, Starnes said.
“We have not advertised the position yet,” she said. “It will be funded when the budget is approved. The position is anticipated to be filled in the month of October or November.”
At a budget workshop held Aug 16, Town Council has deferred funding for the first phase of the Fort Mill Parkway’s water line to until at least 2018, said Paul Mitchell, the town’s engineering director.
The second phase of the Fort Mill Parkway is scheduled for completion sometime after installation of the first phase of the water line, Mitchell said.
Though both phases of the water line have been designed and are ready to be implemented, Council decided to defer the $3.2 million project as projections show it is not needed until 2018 at the earliest, Mitchell said. The town will review the need annually.
Fort Mill has $11.3 million in total budgeted revenue for fiscal year 2014-15, which is up 6.1 percent – $684,944 – from the current year due to growth in taxes and fees, officials said. The budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes a 2 percent raise for all employees, an increase in retirement contribution and added employees, Starnes said.
The town is expecting $290,000 in new property tax revenue due to growth and is not proposing a millage increase for the next budget year.
Due to increased growth, building permit revenue is up $200,000, planning and zoning permit revenue is up $50,000 and business license revenues are up $450,000, according to the budget.
The town proposed a two percent increase in utility franchise fees for both Duke Energy ($87,100) and York Electric Cooperative ($78,167). The increase does not apply to York County Natural Gas, which is structured differently, Pieper said.
The town will pay $92,346 from the general fund to the storm water fund for the first four months of the budget year, which will be repaid once tax revenue is received through January 2015.
In addition to an operations manager, the proposed budget includes money for hiring three police officers, two street crewmen, a building/grounds crewman, a garage mechanic, a recreation crewman and a fire marshal.
Historic Preservation Ordinance
The Fort Mill Historic Review Board requested, by a vote of 7-0 at an Aug. 12 meeting, that Town Council set aside money in the budget for the development of a historic preservation ordinance, which would outline a set of goals and objectives for historic preservation in the town, said Joe Cronin, planning director.
The ordinance would bring the town into compliance with the requirements of the Certified Local Government program, which aims to encourage economic development while protecting historic resources in the community, according to the board’s request.
Planning staff spoke with other towns that have created similar ordinances and found that they typically cost $40,000 to $50,000 to create, Starnes said.
Pieper suggested that the Historic Review Board look at the best practices of towns with similar historic preservation ordinances, giving Fort Mill a starting point to tailor to the town’s needs, Starnes said.
Cronin said the bulk of the money spent on the ordinance will come from defining standards unique to Fort Mill.
Councilwoman Guynn Savage said she would like to see measurable results come from a historic preservation ordinance.
Since the impact from this type of ordinance will be on private property visible results could take years, Starnes said.
“The biggest challenge will be creating an ordinance that is custom to Fort Mill’s Historic District,” Starnes said.