Paragould considers big purchase in 2012

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - With the close of 2011, many cities are preparing costs for the new year. And for the city of Paragould, there's a lot in store for 2012.

It's that time of year, when city officials sit down to nail down the budget for the coming year. And for Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill, it's no different.

"It's all part of the budget process to ensure that we are going to live on what we know we'll have coming in, as oppose to living on what we anticipate coming in," said Gaskill.

Gaskill has a lot he wants to accomplish in 2012. One item on the list includes adding new video cameras to all city police cars. "That's something we've been working on the past couple of years," said Gaskill.

He say the city is also working to transition all city radios from analog to digital. "That expense itself is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 440-thousand dollars," said Gaskill.

It's a cost that has already been included in each individual department's budget, along with a little assistance for the 911-reserve fund. But one of the largest expenses in the coming year...

"We're building a new fire station. It will replace Fire Station #2 that was built over 40 years ago. We've just out grown it," said Gaskill.

The ground work has already started on East Lake Street. Gaskill assures the cost for construction shouldn't effect the individual budget's for the various city departments. But instead, plans to pull roughly 1 point 4 million dollars from the city's reserve fund to make it happen.

"What we're going to be able to do is build a new fire station and yet still offer all the same services we would even if we weren't building a fire station," said Gaskill.

The one time expense will effect the reserve fund by roughly ten percent. Gaskill says he has presented the City Council with a balanced budget for 2012, and even expects to have a surplus in revenue.

"We're hoping to have a surplus of about 500-thousand dollars next year. That will replenish part of what we're going to take out next year," said Gaskill.

The budget is still awaiting approval from city council.

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