MONCKS CORNER, SC- On Monday, June 26, 2017 Berkeley County Council passed the 2017-2018 County Fiscal Year budget. Council also passed the Berkeley County Water and Sanitation budget.
The budget does not recommend a millage rate increase; therefore, Berkeley County will continue to have the lowest county government millage rate in the entire state. Council approved Berkeley County Government’s general fund at $80 million and Berkeley County’s Water and Sanitation budget at more than $62 million.
The approved budget demonstrates Berkeley County’s continued commitment toward improving public safety, increasing the Sheriff’s Office budget by nearly 25% over the last three years, since the new administration took office. The plan adds eight new employees to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, seven of which are sworn deputies.
The plan also reveals a major investment in the County’s Emergency Medical Services. County leaders are working on a complete revamp on how EMS is managed and delivered to the citizens. For the first time in 10 years, the County will be adding a full-time 24-hour EMS unit to the system, three prime-time units and one additional supervisor per shift. The plan shows heavy investment in training and modernizing EMS equipment.
Additionally, the plan reveals a large investment in equipment and technology, recommending four new dispatchers in the 911 center. The County government budget also includes a 3% County employee merit and COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) increase that will take effect January 2018.
“Since day my first day as Supervisor, my priority has been improving public safety,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler. “This budget shows County leaders are keeping our promises and working to effectively protect and serve Berkeley County citizens. The combined efforts of Council members and County employees toward careful and responsible fiscal management will keep our County prepared for the future.”