Budget talks top Jonesboro City Council meeting

Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"These fees have not been increased in more than 30 years some of them," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.

After Tuesday night's city council meeting, changes are on the way.

"That's a great boost particularly with the sales tax down, we're going to need every dollar we can get," said Perrin.

The council passed resolutions to increase many fees in the city ranging from new construction to inspection.  An approximately 725 thousand dollar boost to 2010 revenues according to Jonesboro Mayor,  Harold Perrin.

Perrin says the fee increases will go into effect on January 1st.

"I'm really pleased that the city council went ahead and did that.  It will lead us in to going ahead and having the budget by Friday that we can hand to our entire council so they can start looking at it," said Perrin.

Changes to what can be bought with money from the city's capital improvement fund, Mayor Perrin says,  will also give the city flexibility on how that money can be spent.

"It frees up the administration to be able to use those funds to acquire other things such as real estate, facilities, and things of that nature," said Perrin.

Perrin says other changes will include the city maintaining reserves of at least 15 percent of the budgeted expenditures.  That's down from 30 percent.

I think we're going to need these funds, I know we're going to need these funds in 2010," said Perrin.

Perrin says he hopes to have the 2010 budget in council members hands by Friday.  A budget he says that doesn't include more layoffs.

"If we do have say someone leaves the city as far as attrition is concerned or retirements,  obviously we're going to have to look at each position individually to make sure we're going to rehire in that position," said Perrin.

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