BEAUFORT, S.C. (June 14, 2023) – City Council approved at second reading on June 13 the City’s Fiscal Year 2024 Consolidated Budget of $57.6 million. The budget year begins on July 1, 2023, and ends on June 30, 2024.
For the first time, the annual consolidated budget includes a Capital Projects Fund, which accounts for $27.2 million and is comprised primarily of grants, committed fund balance, stormwater bonds, and TIF funds.
The budget includes an overall millage rate of 73.9, a reduction of 4.3 mills compared to FY2023, as the value of a mill is projected to increase from $108,764 to $128,731 due to Beaufort County’s real property reassessment expected to be completed by the fall of this year.
“This budget provides the people, technology and programming to bring our capabilities and performance to the next level,” said Beaufort City Manager Scott Marshall. “Its adoption by Council will result in greater transparency and more efficient delivery of services across the board, with no additional tax burden to citizens and business owners.”
Among the highlights of the budget:
- The addition of five new FTEs (full-time equivalent employees), including a GIS (Geographical Information Systems) manager and three school resource officers (two are state funded). The Community Development Department plans to hire a staff architect, which is expected to reduce plan review outsourcing costs. The budget also includes a part-time records manager in the Police Department.
- A cost-of-living pay increase for employees of 5% and a 2% merit pool to be used for those exceeding performance standards as reflected on their annual evaluation.
- New software that will make it easier to submit building development plans; a new GIS system that will make it easy to get information on new projects and a host of other information relevant to the City of Beaufort; a mobile app to make it easier to submit issues to Public Works and Code Enforcement; and a print newsletter mailed twice a year to all residences and businesses in Beaufort.
Previously, capital projects were tracked separately through individual project budgets. The City has budgeted $27.2 million for capital projects for FY2024.
Among the highlights:
- Stormwater: Work will begin on major stormwater drainage projects on Calhoun Street; Charles, Craven, Carteret and Port Republic streets; King Street, and Bayard Street, paid for by various grants and ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds.
- Parks: Major improvements to Southside and Washington Street parks, paid through grants and revenue bonds.
- Streetscapes: A streetscape/stormwater project will be completed on Allison Road, which includes the undergrounding of utilities. This is being paid for through grants, ARPA funding, and other funds previously set aside for the project.
- Parallel Road: The process of property and easement acquisition will begin in FY24 to support the construction of a parallel road to help divert traffic from Boundary Street.
Details of the $57.6 million budget were presented at several City Council work sessions in April and May, where separate presentations were made on revenues, expenses, and capital projects. Public comment was invited at all these sessions.
The budget can be found online via the City’s OpenGov portal: FY2024 Budget
The City has also put together FAQs on the budget process and impact fees.
Consolidated Budget FAQ
Impact Fees FAQ