Jonesboro mayor prepares budget for council

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"This is the toughest budget I have ever worked on for the City of Jonesboro," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin attributes that to revenues that he says are just not there like they have been in the past

"We're down currently about 787 thousand dollars in total income off of sales tax only,' said Perrin.

He couples that with the rising cost to provide services to a growing city.

"You can do that as long as you've got a lot of reserves, but we've also spent down those reserves in the last 4 years because we've built fire stations and things to play catch up," said Perrin.

He says  the city is looking at each service it provides, and asking how can this be done more efficiently. With sales tax revenue down significantly, they're looking for ways to get more money coming in.

"We have looked at all of our fee income.   The fee income has not been looked at in 30 years," said Perrin.

Mayor Perrin says he recently met with all of the city's employees.

"I said to them, we're in the middle of budgets and it doesn't look as good as I thought it did," said Perrin.

He said he challenged all of them to send him ideas of ways  to cut costs where they could, and still provide the services to the city.

Reporter Lauren Payne asked if any of them (city employees) asked about job security?  About what they could expect?

"They just simply asked if there was a possibility of reduction in staff and I said that might be an option.   That's all I can tell them at this time until I know exactly where we are at on every line item," said Perrin.

Mayor Perrin says he hopes to have more definitive numbers on revenues and expenses by the end of the week.  He says he hopes to have a budget to the council before the Thanksgiving holiday.

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