JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "It is a balanced budget and we told the council that we would have a balanced budget in 2011," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.
A balanced budget made possible in large part by the half cent sales tax increase the city will start collecting in March and keeping a close eye on the money going out, according to Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin.
"We also reduced additional expenses. Some of these department head budgets are a little bit less than they were last year," said Perrin.
Perrin says the proposed 2011 budget doesn't have any cuts in personnel or services. He says in fact, they'll spend more in 2011 on capital improvements.
"We've got some projects, particularly in drainage, that we need to address. That's going to help a lot of these neighborhoods in the drainage area," said Perrin.
Perrin says one new position was created in this proposed budget. He says it's a technology based job that he says will be helpful citywide.
"What we're trying to do is get to a level that we know that we can do more with less meaning that if in fact the money is not there to add additional personnel we will be able to do that with technology," said Perrin.
In the proposed 2011 budget, Perrin says projections show a surplus of around 243 thousand dollars by the end of next year. Despite that, Perrin says efforts to increase revenue and decrease expenses will continue.
"We're going to be looking at every grant opportunity we can get to bring more money in and we're going to be looking at ways to be more efficient and effective," said Perrin.
Perrin says the city began this year with a deficit of 4.8 million dollars in all funds; however, he says right now they are projecting to end the year with a deficit of less than one million dollars. Perrin says the deficit spending was lowered by about three million dollars. In addition, you'll recall the 2010 budget was cut by 7 million dollars from 2009. Together, that's a nearly 10 million dollar swing in one year.