Dillon County leaders hold emergency meeting over budget crisis

Pee Dee

DILLON, SC (WBTW) – Dillon County Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning.

The meeting was in response to what the county refers to on the agenda as a ‘budget crisis.’

“As of July 15, we’re looking at being in the hole,” county treasurer Jamie Calhoun Estes stated plainly to the council. “We need to have a contingency plan in place.”

Dillon County faces over 1.5 million dollars in revenue shortfalls at the moment.

That includes reimbursements it’s still waiting for, lost revenue and other items.

“Hospitality tax- we advertised like we were supposed to in April as we agreed,” county administrator Tony Clyburn began. “And of course with COVID-19 lockdown, we haven’t had nearly anything close to the revenue in those few months.”

Clyburn provided an explanation for the shortfalls.

Council voted in favor of removing Clyburn last month, but he is still serving as administrator pending a public hearing. That should happen in the next few weeks.

Clyburn cited other reasons for the budget shortfalls, like a decrease in inmates and an apparently ongoing issue with American Waste.

He also said the county is waiting on state money to come in the month of June, some of which was expected in April.

“It’s about a million dollars we haven’t gotten yet. So that’s really what’s behind the tight numbers,” he said. “One of the things we can do is wait for the money to come in. Which will come in and it will still be very tight. Or we can just go ahead and get a TAN.”

Council Chairman Stevie Grice questioned decisions made earlier in the year.

“If we knew some of these things, just like counting on this money- why were there a significant amount of raises given out in February and January?” he asked.

County leaders decided that an audit must be completed soon so the county can move toward getting a TAN.

Council will also meet Wednesday to go over conditions for a grant from the USDA. Count on News13 for updates.

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