FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The Florence City Council unanimously approved the first reading of the upcoming fiscal year’s budget at a workshop at Florence Fire Station Five.

City managers and heads of the city’s departments walked the council through the budget. The proposed general fund budget is just under $45,000,000.

Randy Osterman, the city manager, told the council how the budget was balanced by opting to have some departments apply for grants and leaving job positions open for at least 16 weeks before making a hire.

The proposed budget includes a 3% raise for city employees and would create new positions, like police cadets.

“This police cadet program is basically looking to hire those individuals between 18 and 21 that aren’t eligible to be police officers yet because of their age, but that we can hopefully grasp onto, bring into the organization — police officers in waiting, if you will — and use them in areas like code enforcement,” Osterman said.

The proposed budget also includes funding for community organizations like the food pantry My Brother’s Keeper and Foster Care Clothing Closet, which provides resources to families that foster children.

It must be read two more times before it is adopted.