Sumter County budget, Project Bulldog still going strong

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 5/24/18

Sumter County Council approved second reading of its 2019 fiscal year budget, with balanced general funds of $52,752,483 million, and furthered plans for Project Bulldog during its meeting on Tuesday.

The budget ordinance also includes a request …

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Sumter County budget, Project Bulldog still going strong

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Sumter County Council approved second reading of its 2019 fiscal year budget, with balanced general funds of $52,752,483 million, and furthered plans for Project Bulldog during its meeting on Tuesday.

The budget ordinance also includes a request to use $1.5 million from the county's reserve funds for three projects, said Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon.

Those projects include: $700,000 to renovate the former Sumter Fire Department headquarters building on Hampton Avenue for Sumter County EMS which will move into the building; $300,000 to demolish the old jail behind Sumter County Sheriff's Office building on North Main Street; and $500,000 to construct a parking lot in place of the old jail.

No one spoke in favor or opposition of the budget during a public hearing held before council's vote.

Council plans to have third and final reading of the ordinance on June 12 when Sumter School District is expected to make a request for a 5.48-mill increase - about $1,057,121. 

Bond to maintain county vehicle fleets

Related to the fiscal budget, county council approved first reading of an ordinance to authorize the issuance and sale of a $2.5 million general obligation bond - equal to about 15 mills - to purchase vehicles for the sheriff's office, recreation department, public works and other county agencies.

Agreement with Project Bulldog moving forward

Council approved second reading of an ordinance to authorize a fee in lieu of tax and incentive agreement between the county and a company identified as Project Bulldog.

According to the agreement, Project Bulldog intends to invest at least $150 million into Sumter County and create 125 new full-time jobs to receive a 4 percent assessment ratio on its property, an incentive for making such a large investment. Industrial property is usually assessed at 10.5 percent in Sumter County.

However, if Project Bulldog falls short of those goals it can still qualify for a 6 percent assessment ratio and a 25 percent special source revenue credit agreement, or tax reduction, for the first 10 years of operation if it creates 75 jobs.

If third reading of the ordinance is passed, the agreement will be valid for 20 years.

Also, county council approved second reading of an ordinance to amend the Sumter-Lee Industrial Park master agreement to include property owned and operated by Project Bulldog.

County to lease property to FTC

County Council approved third and final reading to authorize the lease of property to FTC Communications LLC for $400 per month.

No one spoke during the public hearing for the lease agreement.

* Sumter County Council requires three approvals to pass an ordinance.