Repairs, renovations of county facilities lead early draft of Lexington County budget

( Two of Lexington County’s primary facilities could be getting major renovations if funds included in the early draft of the 2015-16 budget are approved by County Council.

County Administrator Joe Mergo reviewed the recommended budget Tuesday before council members gave first reading approval.

The county is expected to receive $116.7 million in revenue for the general fund. County operations including public works totals $61.3 million; law enforcement totals $43.2 million; and expenses for Lexington County Fire Service total $15.4 million to bring the general fund expenses to $119.9 million.

“That’s $3.2 million over expected revenue. My recommendation is to take that overage from the fund balance,” Mergo said.

The $3.2 million comes from two projects recommended by county staff. They are requesting a new roof for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department facility at $1.5 million and an additional $1.7 million in renovations for the county auxiliary administration building. Mergo said plans call for the Veterans Affairs offices to be relocated to the front of the building, the Registration and Elections offices to be expanded, and a new conference room for training.

County staff in the Solid Waste Management department also might be relocating the River Chase Collection Site away from the Sunset Boulevard-Interstate 20 interchange at council’s request.

Accounting for the non-general fund budget, which includes departments like library services, the total county budget is $182.5 million.

Mergo said the county likely will see a shortage of $3.8 million in revenue because the Local Government Fund is not funded at the required level.

“At last look, it’s the same level as last year,” he said.

Budget work sessions will be held at noon May 5, May 12 and May 19. A public hearing is scheduled for May 26.

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