With budget approved, Mt. Pleasant focusing on infrastructure, roads
By James Tilson
MT. PLEASANT—The Mt. Pleasant City Council was updated on future infrastructure projects, and approved the city budget for next year at their meeting Tuesday.
Monte Bona, executive director of the Mt. Pleasant Community Development and Renewal Agency (CDRA), told the council, “Mt. Pleasant has been awarded approximately $30 million from 1995 to 2019, from 23 entities, which works out to an average of $1.25 million per year.”
Bona said that Mt. Pleasant’s history of going after, and then getting, federal funding for infrastructure projects has given the city’s administration a “track record of telling people what we’re going to do, and then doing it.”
The next big project Mt. Pleasant will be focusing on, according to Bona, will be roads. In the city’s 10-year plan, road projects represents the majority of the city’s infrastructure needs.
Helping to fund these projects may be money recently made available from the federal government in the latest U. S. Transportation Bill. Bona explained the bill appropriated $1.52 billion for road projects in rural areas with populations of fewer than 5,000 people. This, according to Bona, will be an excellent source of future funding for Mt. Pleasant. “We’re going to focus on this like a laser,” he said.
However, Bona emphasized all the details of how the funding would be disbursed have not been finalized, and he and the city government will have to pay special attention to this to see what the city will need to do to qualify for those funds.
The council also gave the final approval for the 20192020 city budget. Mt. Pleasant’s budget came out to a total of $2,797,765.00, which was slightly less than last year’s $2,872,930.00 budget. This year’s budget was balanced, and contained few changes from last year. It was also apparently a non-controversial budget, as no one appeared at the public hearing late last month to make any comment on the budget.
The council also approved the city library’s budget, of $137,070.00. This was less than last year’s $144,763.00 budget, due mostly to a decrease in property tax revenue slotted to the library, from $127,780.00 last year to $109,000.00 this coming year.