JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – The Johnsonville City Council approved its proposed budget on second reading Tuesday evening.

While not much has changed since the first reading, the council amended the proposed budget to include an $8,000 line item for the Johnsonville Rescue Squad. The donation was not previously included in the proposed budget because it was unclear whether the rescue squad would continue to operate. In the past, the council has given an $8,000 donation to the squad.

The balanced proposed budget includes more than $3 million in revenues and expenditures. A 2.5 percent salary increase is proposed across the board, in addition to a zero to two percent merit increase based on individual performance reviews given by supervisors.

Members of the Johnsonville Rescue Squad said Tuesday that it will no longer receive funding from Florence County, but they plan to continue their services to the Johnsonville area.

Johnsonville City Administrator Jim Smith read a letter to the council from Tony Hucks, chief of the rescue squad, at Tuesday’s meeting. In the letter, he said the squad will work in conjunction with Florence County EMS, moving forward, due to the call volume of 911.

Hucks said in the letter that members of the squad appreciate the funding it has received from the city of Johnsonville over the years. The squad does not wish to leave the Johnsonville area and will continue to provide advanced life support services to the community, he said.

April Collins, a member of the rescue squad, said $8,000 buys all of the supplies for an entire year. That amount also pays the light bill for the Johnsonville Rescue Squad and the water bill for the entire year.

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