Irmo fares well in finances

By Al Dozier

Irmo received positive notes on the town’s finances at the November 15 council meeting in a presentation on the annual audit report for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year.

The town had revenues totaling $12.8 million and expenses of $9.4 million, according to the report from Hightower & Hightower LLC. Assets totaled $15.3 million, while liabilities totaled $6 million. There was an increase in the General Fund of $1,790,110.

Council members applauded town officials for managing funds so the town “would not be in the red.”
Enhancing the town’s finances were funds received from the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act). The town recently received a $2.5 million grant from the funds.

Council members expressed different ideas on how the funds should be used at Tuesday’s meeting.
Setting aside funds in a reserve to address future growth was one suggestion. Some council members said the town should address security concerns with the funds, possibly setting up video sites to assist police in investigations.

Councilman Erik Sickinger said Irmo could consider investing funds in its own downtown and setting up a Main Street site as most towns have.

The council will address the use of the funds again at the next workshop meeting.

With its good financial status, the council unanimously approved an increase in the Christmas bonus for employees and staff from $700 to $1,500.

The council also received a positive report on this year’s Okra Strut Festival, which was described as very successful. The event had great entertainment and “the best attendance in years,” according to the report. Revenues totaling $167,499.03 exceeded expenses of $139,922.63.

The council gave final reading to an ordinance that updates the Town Code on smoking in public places. The ordinance removes any “grandfather clause” from the current ordinance to make Irmo eligible for a Smoke-Free Palmetto State Certification.

The council gave first reading to an ordinance annexing a parcel at 1194 Dutch Fork Road, which is contiguous to properties within the town of Irmo. Savage Realty and Development was listed as the owner of the property.

In other action, the council approved a contract to Henley’s Construction Co. in the amount of $34,900 for fencing at Rawls Creek Park. The fencing will surround two dog parks.

The council approved a grant award from the state in the amount of $48,600 for the replacement of old Tasers for the police department.

The council appointed Ed Wadelington for another term on the Irmo Planning Commission.

The council heard a presentation by the TFA Café on the Irmo Holiday Market scheduled for December 10. Sponsors are requesting a $5,000 contribution from the town to help fund the project, and request the use of the Community Park of Irmo for the event. The request was referred to the Irmo Events Committee.

Elite Personal training was recognized as Irmo’s Small Business of the Month.
The council named Sharon Funderburk “Artist of the Month.”

Irmo Elementary School made a presentation to the council for the “School Showcase” agenda.

Principal Shannon Fincannon cited new celebrations and programs at the school, such as the recent Veterans Drive Through in which students greeted veterans as they drove by the school.

“Bright Idea” grant winners, and the “Teacher of the Week” Nichole Bishop, were also recognized. Students made their own presentations on the S.C. Career Kids Club.

Upcoming events announced during the meeting included: Harbison’s Christmas Craft Fair on November 19 and the Senior Christmas Luncheon on December 1; Irmo High School International School of the Arts “Backstage” performance by the Irmo Theatre Co. on November 17, 18 and 19.