City Manager Report – March 8, 2016

Bill Prokop

09 Mar City Manager Report – March 8, 2016

The following is a summary of City Manager Bill Prokop’s Report to City Council last week. Of particular importance is item #7 where he calls for your help.

 

City Manager Bill Prokop’s comments to City Council at the March 8 meeting:

1. We had our Moody’s & Standard and Poor’s interview for our Bond ratings and the Moody’s will stay the same at AA2, which is excellent for a community our size and the S&P stayed the same as last year at AA. Our bond sale is scheduled for next week. This will be used to save us interest on our current debt.

2. Dog Park: The dog park at Southside is complete except for some signage on the rules and regulations.

3. Southside Side walk project the bids have been received and the constructions should start by Early April. This is a combination CTC funding and City capital spending.

4. The paid parking lot at 500 Carteret is slightly behind our scheduled opening of March 7th, but we hope to have it open next Tuesday, the 15th. Construction on the employee parking will also begin at that lot next week and we plan on having that open by the end of the month. Notices and information are being provided by Park Beaufort.

5. Marina Transient dock project is being reviewed for cost savings and that will be ready to move forward in the fall of this year, after the prime boating season.

6. We want to remind everyone of the Beaufort Form Based Code presentations that are being conducted by our Planning Department right through the 23rd of this month.

7. We have started our budget preparation work for the upcoming budget and a detailed schedule has been given to all Department Heads. We are very concerned about the revenue side of our budget again this year due to actions that may or may not be taken by our state legislature. The two major areas of concern are the bills that are being discussed that would reduce our Business License tax, which generates 18-20% of our revenue and if passed would have major effects on our services. The other is what funding the DOT gets to fix the infrastructure of our roads, stormwater, and many sidewalks. If these are not addressed properly, we may be forced to give our residents the telephone numbers of the state agencies or our state Representatives to report pot holes, road repairs, code violations, and services that they have been getting from the City but we will no longer be able to provide. Please ask your representatives to consider the needs of the municipalities along with those of the State. We are part of the State. Just as an example I pulled the file of a small manufacturing business who had reported gross sales of $110,000+ and their Business License Fee was $231.00 for the year – that is .002% and we honestly don’t believe that type of tax is killing small business or holding back our economic development efforts – But, that is the belief of some of our state representatives. At the same time if you bought a used car or a boat and paid $4600.00 the sales tax on that one item would be $230.00. We would be happy to explain our concerns to any citizen who has questions and wants to better understand the fees that the City has.

8. APA (American Planning Assn. SC Chapter) Meeting in Beaufort on 3/18/2016 so the City will be full of Planners to see what we have accomplished and discuss the Boundary Street project.

9. Thank you, are there any questions.

CM REPORT 3/8/2016

1. We had our Moody’s & Standard and Poor’s interview for our Bond ratings and the Moody’s will stay the same at AA2, which is excellent for a community our size and the S&P stayed the same as last year at AA. Our bond sale is scheduled for next week. This will be used to save us interest on our current debt.

2. Dog Park: The dog park at Southside is complete except for some signage on the rules and regulations.

3. Southside Side walk project the bids have been received and the constructions should start by Early April. This is a combination CTC funding and City capital spending.

4. The paid parking lot at 500 Carteret is slightly behind our scheduled opening of March 7th, but we hope to have it open next Tuesday, the 15th. Construction on the employee parking will also begin at that lot next week and we plan on having that open by the end of the month. Notices and information are being provided by Park Beaufort.

5. Marina Transient dock project is being reviewed for cost savings and that will be ready to move forward in the fall of this year, after the prime boating season.

6. We want to remind everyone of the Beaufort Form Based Code presentations that are being conducted by our Planning Department right through the 23rd of this month.

7. We have started our budget preparation work for the upcoming budget and a detailed schedule has been given to all Department Heads. We are very concerned about the revenue side of our budget again this year due to actions that may or may not be taken by our state legislature. The two major areas of concern are the bills that are being discussed that would reduce our Business License tax, which generates 18-20% of our revenue and if passed would have major affects on our services. The other is what funding the DOT gets to fix the infrastructure of our roads, stormwater, and many sidewalks. If these are not addressed properly, we may be forced to

give our residence the telephone numbers of the state agencies or our state Representatives to report pot holes, road repairs, code violations, and services that they have been getting from the City but we will no longer be able to provide. Please ask your representatives to consider the needs of the municipalities along with those of the State. Just as an example I pulled the file of a small manufacturing business who had reported gross sales of $110,000+ and there Business License Fee was $231.00 for the year – that is .002% and we honestly don’t believe that type of tax is killing small business in is holding back our economic development efforts – But, that is the belief of some of our state representatives. At the same time if you bought a used car or a boat and paid $4600.00 the sales tax on that one item would be $230.00. We would be happy to explain our concerns to any citizen who has questions and wants to better understand the fees that the City has.

8. APA (American Planning Assn. SC Chapter) Meeting in Beaufort on 3/18/2016 so the City will be full of Planners to see what we have accomplished and discuss the Boundary Street project.

9. Thank you, are there any questions.