Pinching pennies paying off for the City of Jonesboro - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Pinching pennies paying off for the City of Jonesboro

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "Those folks really came up to the plate and hit a home run," said Perrin.

Perrin is talking about  city employees and department heads that trimmed their budgets in 2010.

"They're the ones that implemented a lot of the things we talked about," said Perrin.

"We watched expenses extremely carefully," said Perrin.

Resulting in a surplus of around 738 thousand dollars in the operating and maintenance fund.  There has been major belt tightening including limited fixed asset purchases.

"The question would be can we continue that and the answer is no absolutely not," said Perrin.

Perrin goes onto say they've laid the foundation for  more effectiveness and efficiency--hopefully leading to more money coming in and eventually allowing for more purchases.

 Another place the city saved in 2010?

"Capital improvement was about 1.9 million dollars under budget," said Perrin.

After careful examination, Perrin said they pushed some major capital improvement projects, like the new street and sanitation facility on Lacy Drive, to 2011.

"We were really banking on the interest rates to be somewhat lower and also that building costs may go down.   Fortunately, both those things happened for us," said Perrin.

Perrin says if the full city council approves a 10 and a half million dollar loan, they will be able to complete a number of capital improvement projects including the facility on Lacy Drive.

"We have approximately 7 million dollars coming into that fund," said Perrin.

He says with between 6 and 7 million in the capital improvements fund now, there will be plenty left to pay back the loan," said Perrin.  He adds the capital improvements the city has always done will continue.

Such as detention ponds, overlay of streets--In fact it will probably free up a little money that we can do more in 2011," said Perrin.

Perrin says the biggest capital improvement item will be the new street and sanitation facility that will be about 5 point 6 million dollars.  Another big ticket item is a new fire station on Harrisburg Road.  Perrin says it will cost about 1 point 9 million.  Perrin says with a good building season, he hopes the projects are done by the end of the year.    

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