Rock Hill leaders are proposing to increase the city budget by $9.6 million, and include new projects such as free bus service and a sports and events center.
The proposal is an increase of 4.1 percent, less than the city predicted in 2017.
The proposed budget wouldn’t increase property tax. However, it does include utility increases, including water, wastewater and commercial sanitation rates.
Rock Hill city council discussed the budget in a second workshop Thursday afternoon.
Rock Hill chief financial officer Anne Harty said the difference in the budget is mainly because of the bus service. The city had budgeted about $6.4 million, but most of the costs will now be covered by a federal grant.
The federal grant for the electric bus service, which would be free to ride, would cover 81 percent, or $5,925,250, of the project.
When the city released the 2017/18 fiscal year budget of $236,159,457, the report proposed a 2018/19 budget of $255,276,307. The current budget proposal for the fiscal year July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, is less than the original by $9,458,815 at $245,817,492.
The increased rates would raise the average resident’s monthly bill by $2.45, the proposal says.
The newly proposed budget focuses on the new three-year strategic plan, centered on “serving, engaging and growing.” Funding for the two projects, focused on growth in the Knowledge Park area, would need to cover 29 full-time staff positions and 19 part-time positions, according to the budget proposal released after an April 26 workshop.
During the Thursday workshop, the city proposed a $2,500 bonus for police officers with one to four years of experience and a $5,000 bonus for officers with five or more years of experience.
The city also proposed offering an additional longevity pay option for city employees — a $600 annual lump sum to employees with a minimum 23 years of continuous city service who are currently in the Police Officer Retirement System, or with a minimum of 26 years of continuous city service who are currently in the South Carolina Retirement System.
Council will host a public hearing on the budget and the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the budget June 11. The second reading of the ordinance is June 25.