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Sumter city budget passes without tax increase

Proposal would add e-cigarettes, vapes to smoking ordinance

BY KAYLA ROBINS
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 6/20/19

No changes were made to next year's citywide budget before it received a unanimous vote for approval on Tuesday.

Sumter City Council approved two budget ordinances at its regular meeting, the first to raise commercial garbage rates by $20 and the …

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Sumter city budget passes without tax increase

Proposal would add e-cigarettes, vapes to smoking ordinance

Posted

No changes were made to next year's citywide budget before it received a unanimous vote for approval on Tuesday.

Sumter City Council approved two budget ordinances at its regular meeting, the first to raise commercial garbage rates by $20 and the second to adopt the $68.8 million balanced budget, which means the projected amount of spending and income are the same, for fiscal year 2020. Next year's budget begins July 1.

Ad valorem property taxes for next year will remain unchanged at 102 total mills - 98 for operational purposes and four for debt service payments on general obligation debts.

The 2020 budget includes appropriating $800,000 to the city's capital reserve account, which is money that can only be used for funding depreciation. As of April 13, there was more than $5.6 million in the account.

Another appropriation in next year's spending plan amounts to $927,000 for capital improvements to depreciating infrastructure.

No additional funds will be transferred to the city's contingency account, which currently has more than $2 million. Both the capital reserve account and contingency account are part of the city's enterprise funds, which, according to the ordinance, are sufficiently funded. Therefore, $1.9 million in surplus enterprise revenues will be transferred to the general fund.

Proposal would add e-cigarettes, vapes to smoking prohibitions

Agenda item: Amending the smoking ordinance to include electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products and amending penalties for violations

Reading: First of two

Background: Approving this proposal would expand the definition of smoking within city limits to include any lighted cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, vape, pipe, other lighted tobacco product or device or other alternative lighted or heated nicotine product or device.

The proposal would add penalties for those found smoking in areas where it is prohibited in the city to be issued a $25 fine on a first offense and $100 for any subsequent offense. Also, a person who manages, owns, operates or "otherwise controls a public place or place of employment" who fails to comply with the ordinance or who allows smoking in an area where it is prohibited can be issued those same fines.

The change would become effective immediately upon adoption after approval of second reading next month.

Discussion: Mayor Joe McElveen clarified this proposal does not change the rules of where smoking is allowed or prohibited. It only adds electronic and other newer forms of tobacco smoking and amends the penalty schedule.

Vote: Unanimous

Camden Highway property passes with narrower zoning

Also during Tuesday's meeting, second and final reading was approved to rezone almost 13 acres at 1770 Camden Highway from Planned Development to Limited Commercial.

The original proposal was to rezone it to General Commercial, but Councilman Steve Corley pushed for it to be given a narrower zoning because it is across the street from two churches, voicing concern about the possibility of any business being allowed to move in.

The amended proposal to Limited Commercial was approved unanimously.