Committee OK’s Spending

WINNSBORO – County Council’s Administration and Finance Committee recommended more than $400,000 in capital expenditures Monday afternoon, nearly all of which were part of the 2015-2016 budget. The greatest exception was a more than $10,000 overage in a request by the County’s Fire Service, which forced the County Fire Marshal to make adjustments within his operational budget.

After the Committee, chaired by Councilwoman Carolyn Robinson (District 2) and comprising Marion Robinson (District 5) and Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6), gave the OK for the purchase of a 2015 Dodge ambulance for the EMS Department at a cost of $180,364 (which was nearly $10,000 less than what Council had budgeted last spring), the trio then took up the purchase of two brush trucks and two service trucks for Fire Service.

Fire Marshal Tony Hill told the Committee that his initial request when making out the budget several months ago had been for 2015 model trucks; however, now at the end of September, he said, only 2016 models were available, sending the price up. To make up for the $10,266 overage, Hill said he was moving money from his equipment account.

“It’s nothing we can’t do without for another year,” Hill said. “(The departments) are just going to have to wait, because these trucks are more important.”

One brush truck and one service truck are slated for the Greenbrier department, Hill said, with another service truck earmarked for Ridgeway and another brush truck for Lebanon.

“I’m not a big proponent of moving money from operations to capital,” Marion Robinson said, “but if it’s not life-saving stuff, I can go along with it this one time. But I don’t want it to be a habit.”

The Committee also approved the purchase of a backhoe for the Public Works Department for a cost of $68,706 – less than the $80,000 budgeted for the item.

A request from the Tax Assessor’s Office to purchase a Chevrolet Colorado four-wheel drive pickup truck to replace a Ford Taurus station wagon also exceeded its $26,000 budget, Interim County Administrator Milton Pope said, but only by $126.

The recommendations will be taken up by full Council at their Oct. 12 meeting.