By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says even though the 2010 budget passed, the work to get a balanced budget for 2011 continues. Perrin says the city cannot continue operating on deficit spending. He acknowledged the city's department heads who trimmed their budgets over the last few months. Perrin says despite budget cuts made city wide, things will still be tight.
"We're still going to have to look at additional cuts on expenses. We're also going to have to look for additional revenue, so we'll be doing that immediately-January 2nd," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.
Perrin says the city will have to work smarter in the upcoming year and do more with less. Perrin says the 2010 budget should be on the city's website by the end of this week.
Not only was the city's budget discussed at Tuesday night's meeting, so was JETS budget. The council passed a resolution to forgive a debt the city loaned to JETS out of the general revenue fund. The council also approved a transfer of funds for JETS to cover some costs for the remainder of the year. In addition, the council passed a resolution to pay back money to the Department of Transportation after a federal audit. JETS Director Steve Ewart says they will make the necessary adjustments to live within their budget for 2010.
"We've already learned how to live within a tight budget. We have cut our budget significantly already in the last 18 months," said Perrin.
Ewart says JETS budget for 2010 is 921 thousand dollars. 300 thousand is from the city. The rest comes in part from advertising revenues and grants. Ewart says he's been working to construct something that will meet the needs of this budget and the needs of the ridership to the best of their ability going forward. He says that plan will be announced by the end of this week.
Sidewalks also were discussed at Tuesday's council meeting. Residents in north Jonesboro should notice work on sidewalks beginning in the next few weeks. The council voted to enter into a contract that will allow for sidewalk improvements in the city. Mayor Perrin says many of the new sidewalks will be additions to ones already in place.
"What we're trying to do is connect these sidewalks together where people will have walkability within those neighborhoods," said Perrin.
Perrin says work on those sidewalks is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks.