JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) The Jonesboro City Council approved the budget for 2011 at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
"I think the department heads have done a wonderful job of going back and looking at all of our needs and putting a priority on the ones we really have to have," said Jonesboro City Councilman, Darrel Dover.
"Reports have shown that the recession is still going to take place in cities for about another two years so we're still going to have to watch everything we spend and keep everything at a bare minimum," said Jonesboro City Councilman, Mikel Fears.
Fears says the 2011 budget is a direct reflection of what department heads have done to cut spending. He says everyone from council members to department heads realize the city has to do more with less.
"All of us have talked all along, just letting each other know what we're going to have to do to get the budget to equal out this year and what we're going to be able to spend with the revenues coming in," said Fears.
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says a balanced budget was made possible in large part by the voter-approved half-cent sales tax increase. Perrin says money generated will allow the city to buy fixed assets for public safety next year.
"An example of that is a fire truck. We'll budget one for 2011. We can skip 12, then 13. That's on the cycle that we've got them set up on," said Perrin.
Perrin says the city will also purchase vehicles for police and animal control.
"2011, we'll be playing catch up on some of our public safety items that we have to purchase," said Perrin.
Just because next year's budget is complete, Dover says the city will continue to look for ways to save.
"At some point in time, the economy's going to turn around and then we can do the things that we would really love to do that we're having to put on hold. We just may have to put things on hold just like anyone has to do at their house," said Dover.
The mayor says now that the budget has been approved by the council, it will be uploaded onto the city's website very soon.