Budget process continues for the city of Jonesboro

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)  The budget for 2010 is complete, but what Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin calls  intense financial planning for 2011 and 2012 continues.

"We're a progressive city and we're growing at 2 and a half, three percent a year," said Perrin.

Perrin says they will start with the most demanding budgets first.

"This year, public safety is a large part of that budget," said Perrin.

The public safety division includes police, fire, E-911 and animal control.  The city's Operations Director, Gary Harpole, says the public safety division is over 54 percent of the city's total operating budget. That's up from 50 percent 5 years ago. An increasing trend city officials expect to continue.

"They also are the departments that when you start trying to replace these fixed assets and things are higher ticket items so we definitely wanted to start there first," said Perrin.

Perrin says his administration and both the police chief and fire chief will meet later this week to discuss their budgets, and what it will take to maintain a high level of public safety in the coming years.  Perrin says he has asked public safety officials including the police chief and fire chief to submit projected budgets for 2011 and 2012.

"Once I get those figures and take a look and do some projections on revenue, then I'll come back and say this is what I think we need to do," said Perrin.

Perrin says public safety for any thriving city is paramount.  He says looking for ways to maintain the high level of public safety the city has now is crucial.

"If you let any city get out of control, it will cost you much more to get back to that level that you were at," said Perrin.

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