Hilton Head Town Council approves first reading of 2018 budget

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) –

Hilton Head Island Town Council wasted no time approving all the ordinances on Tuesday’s table simply because it’s money that’s needed.

Response to Hurricane Matthew depleted the town’s reserve money so now they’re looking at replenishing that account for the next fiscal year.

The operating budget is down because the town just finished a big renourishment project and the debt service budget is up because of money being used for projects like UCSB and Coligny Beach Park.

So, to compensate for the depletion of reserve money, the town is proposing a 5-point millage increase for a five-year period in addition to a 15 percent increase in business license fees and ambulance services.

Hilton Head Fire and Rescue regulates the emergency service and costs are separate from hospital treatment.

“If you get in that ambulance, then there is a charge. If you have insurance, it will cover a large portion of that. So, this would be an increase in the base rate and there are other charges there’s a mileage charge, whatever drugs we must give you we charge you for that drug. If you need less, you get charged less. If you need more, you get charged more,” said Town Manager Steve Riley.

If these proposals pass their second, third and final readings, those fees will go into effect July 1. For some business owners, that is good news because business fees are due May 31, so they won’t see that increase until next year.

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