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B-L Town Council approves new budget, brings improvements

Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Angelica Iglesias) – The Town of Batesburg-Leesville Council approved their budget for the 2018/2019 fiscal year during their June 25, 2018 special meeting and work session. The new budget is bringing new jobs, new trucks, and much more to the community.

Funding is being provided for a new dispatcher position bringing the town to five full-time dispatchers. The new budget also brings in a new entry level water treatment plant operator and a new entry level wastewater treatment plant operator. $6,000 will be allocated towards a new indigent defense attorney for the town. The most interesting position opening up is a new fire department recruiting and retention officer. According to Town Manager Ted Luckadoo, the position is 100% funded by a SAFER Grant and lasts four years. The officer will work in partnership with Lexington School District Three to offer students at B-L High School the ability to graduate with a firefighting certification which could lead to full-time firefighting positions.

The Fire Department is getting a new pickup truck that will also be used for EMS first responder calls. A new landscaping truck is being added to the town’s street department, and the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department is getting at least one more patrol vehicle. $146,000 of the budget is going towards upgrading servers at the police department and installing a new 9-1-1 Viper Dispatch system. Additional funding will be used to upgrade radio communication for the police and fire departments which includes new radios and reprogramming of existing radios to the P-25 system.

Additional funding is being put into training opportunities for the Town Council and improvements for both fire stations. Funding will go towards a contract with Central Midlands Council of Governments to update the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The overall increase in the budget is 6.6%, but there is no increase in taxes, fees, or rates for citizens of the town this year. The total budget for General Fund, Utility Fund and Victims Assistance Fund is $7,404,101. The approved budget includes funding for the a required 1% increase in employer contributions towards employee retirement as part of the state’s mandate.

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Call Paul Kirby

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