Irmo approves ‘biggest’ budget

The Irmo Town Council Tuesday gave first-reading approval to a $9.1 million budget for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year.

“It’s the biggest budget we’ve ever had,” said Mayor Barry Walker.

Last year’s budget was $8.3 million.

The budget includes pay raises for police officers in an on-going effort to retain a top-level police force.

The council has also approved an expenditure of $40,000 for new traffic surveillance cameras in an effort to reduce crime. The town will also be undertaking construction expenses for a new town hall.

The ordinance also provides a Master Fee Schedule which provides easy access to a central showcase of all fees charged by the town.

Another major spending issue was put on hold.

First reading of an ordinance designating allocations for funding through the Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Funds was introduced, but failed to get a needed second motion.

There was no discussion on why the ordinance did not receive approval, but Councilman Kelly Busch said after the meeting the council needs further deliberations to make sure the allocations, which total $3.4 million, are in accordance with government guidelines.

The council has already held workshops on how the funds should be spent, but Busch said another workshop is needed.

The council also gave first reading to an ordinance granting Lumos Fiber of South Carolina a franchise agreement to install fiber internet in the town of Irmo. Council members said the agreement provides “more competitive vendors” in the internet service for the Irmo area.

The council also gave first reading approval to rezone property at the corner of Muskrat Run and Emerald Cove from General Residential to Fringe Agricultural. The change would allow farm usage for properties in the area.

The council approved a resolution accepting a donation from the Irmo Fire Department of land located at 7317 Childs Street. Council members expressed appreciation to the fire department for the donation.

The council approved an extension to the Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Columbia to maintain the I-26 interchange at Lake Murray Boulevard. The agreement will be extended for four years.

The council also approved the road closure for Carlisle Street on May 27 at the request of Young’s Chapel AME Church to hold a community yard sale.

Electrical services needed for Rawls Creek Park in the amount of $29,975 were also approved. The installation will provide service needed for security gates and retrofit existing lights to LED.

The council approved the installation of access controls and security locks at the park through Irmo Lock in the amount of $19,894.

The council also approved expenditures of $11,750 to replace aging playground parts at the Irmo Community Park through Barrs Recreational using government Hospitality Funds.

The council approved new “branding” for the Town of Irmo with an updated identification card.

The council held an hour-long executive session to deal with “employee turnover and retention.”

Council members would not comment on what was discussed in the session.

Bluish Facial Studio was recognized as the Small Business of the Month for May.

The following new in-town Businesses were recognized: Salon 7711 Sheila Reames, 7711 St. Andrews Road; Carolina Conservation LLC, 7740 Broad River Road; Extravagant Beauty Bar,7715 St. Andrews Road; Grandma’s Girls Believes In Dreams LLC, 931 Chadford Road; Kalm Kreations, 931 Chadford Road; Key Blendz Barber Studio,7777 St. Andrews Road; Khepera Beauty, 7500 Woodrow St.; Lake Murray Tobacco & Vape, 952 Lake Murray Blvd.; Unit A Styles By Sarah, 7001 St. Andrews Road; Seafood Express of SC, 7522 Woodrow St.; Tungsten Cross LLC, 106 Minehead Court; SoundPlug Recording Studio, 7801 St. Andrews Road; Styles by Fran, 100Hunter Village Drive; Cola Bear Express Ice Cream LLC, 413 Charing Cross Road; Palmetto Trinity Holdings LLC, 7163 St. Andrews Road.

Nursery Road Elementary School was the featured School Showcase for the month with presentations by Arts Magnet Principal Karey Fisher and Magnet Lead Teacher Lisa Brook.

Recognized during the Community Connections session: the American Red Cross Blood Drive, May 18; Story Walk Premiere at the Green Iceberg Community Garden in Rawls Creek Park, May 20; Irmo Alive After 5, May 25; Silent Disco Festival, May 27; Juneteenth Celebration, June 19.