City of Beaufort Forecasts Spending Cuts to Park Maintenance - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

City of Beaufort Forecasts Spending Cuts to Park Maintenance

City of Beaufort Forecasts Spending Cuts to Park Maintenance

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BEAUFORT, S.C. - The City of Beaufort is looking for ways to tighten the purse strings, ever since they calculated next fiscal year's fund to fall $167, 557 less than the current year's funds. Now the first cutbacks will land on some landscaping to precious parks. 

At least one taxpayer has a few suggestions on where to do some trimming. Anne Ubelis, a county resident and Beaufort Tea Party director, says city projects affect her wallet in the county. She says her suggestion of putting in a parking garage downtown for tax revenue would benefit the city's pocketbook. She is skeptical of the spending that took place this year. 

"Unnecessary spending," Ubelis calls it. 

She believes frivolous spending went on. She questions where next year's cuts will come in. 

"They've gone through, and done the entire study and project development for downtown marine to put a whole new housing project and commercial development here. How much money went into that?" she asks. 

With proposed millage hikes to city dwellers, she believes that should be one of the last resorts in making up lost funding. 

"Hello city? How much money do you think the taxpayers have?" she asks. 

City Manager Scott Dadson told City Council  "Less money coming into the City of Beaufort coffers may mean less money being spent on things such as landscaping and maintaining parks, but the primary effort this spring will be to squeeze as much out of each dollar as possible," sent in a news release. 

Before final plans are drawn, more meetings will be held. This is where Ubelis cautions decision makers to exercise restraint in slashing through any funds feeding tourists taking in an aesthetically pleasing Waterfront Park. 

"If the city were smart, the last thing they would do is hurt something that would hurt tourism," Ubelis says. "That's their baby. That's their tax dollar."

However, Mayor Billy Keyserling says not to worry, any fund-trimming around the park lawns should go unnoticed. 

"You have to worry about the structure and sinkholes, or you have to worry about placing a bed of azaleas. Your smart decision is to take care of the structure," he says. 

In meetings to come, beginning May 13, the city will tighten up the checkbook. 

"I hope we don't get down to counting paperclips, but we're going to look at it that carefully," Mayor Keyserling says. 

That's where Ubelis hopes neighbors will keep an eye on the plans. 

"Hold them accountable," she says.      
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