A $122 million spending plan that features a small tax increase for fire protection received final approval Tuesday from Lexington County Council.
It includes a property tax increase of $2.15 on a $100,000 home for most county residents to build a half dozen stations fire station in coming years to reduce response time mainly in rural areas.
The tax hike doesn’t apply to communities with their own firefighters – Batesburg-Leesville, Cayce and West Columbia.
Fire protection also was a winner in other ways with the addition of 18 firefighters and a new training facility.
A decision to end a donation to mental health care after 35 years is the only controversy over the spending plan that starts July 1.
But there is time for advocates of those services to reverse that move since it doesn’t take effect until mid-2016.
It’s a change that allowed money that formerly went to mental health to be used to hire 10 more paramedics to handle growing demand for emergency health care.
“We’re making things work with the revenue we have,” Council Chairman Johnny Jeffcoat of Irmo said.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483