SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Surfside Beach Town Council Monday night approved the first reading of a nearly $20 million budget.

The proposed $19,908,845 budget includes no tax increase, proposed FOIA request fees and funding for a new full-time employee in the town’s facilities department.

It also includes setting aside $110,000 for merit pay or step raises in the general burn and sanitation departments, with which some council members disagreed.

“Whether we pass it tonight or pass it two weeks from now, I’m still gonna vote no because those things we just did not discuss as a group,” Councilman William Kinken said. “I’m not sure how they got in there, but they’re there, and I’m just not in favor of it.” 

The budget now moves to second reading and could be amended at the next council meeting.