Jonesboro City council to adopt 2012 budget

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A lot was happening Tuesday night, as the Jonesboro City Council came together for the last time in this year.

One of the biggest topics of discussion was the adoption of the 2012 budget for the city of Jonesboro. Several council members praised how well the budget was put together and the fact that the city has had a surplus in funds over the past two years. Jonesboro Mayor Perrin says there were some minor shifts within the different departments, with a minimal increase in the E-911 Department and Sanitation Services. A full copy of the 2012 budget will be made visible on the city website Wednesday.

Another item discussed involved the Huntington building that was sold just about a year ago. "We have two years, starting in January, to move the people from the Huntington building," said Mayor Perrin, and the clock's ticking.

Tuesday night, the city council approved a spatial study to decide how much land or what size facility can accommodate the needs of the various departments. From Code Enforcement, Engineering, to a place to conduct City Council meetings.

"They will go in and interview the department heads. They will see how many employees that we have, how much space they occupy now, and which departments they work with on a day-to-day bases," said Perrin.

He says hopefully, it will help come up with a way to develop a new facility, that at the same time can be efficient. "It's seeing how we all work together in the flow of operation. It's going to be much more effective and really increase customer service better," said Perrin.

Perrin says they have already looked into several different options from expanding the current City Hall, or renovating the old City Hall just across the street. The big thing will be factoring in future growth. "If they come back with say 10-thousand square feet, then we may go to 15 or 18-thousand square feet and maybe just shell it in and not finish it off. It much cheaper to do it now than say 5 to 10 years from now," said Perrin.

The spatial study is just the beginning, and Perrin says he his goal is to get the project moving on the fast track.

"I'm going to have to do that very quickly because we need to be in the building stage no later than April of this next year, because we're talking about a year of construction and we only have a year left," said Perrin.

Mayor Perrin hopes to have the spatial study complete and in his hands by the end of January.

It was also announced tonight that current Fire Chief Leonard Jadrich is retiring after more than 20 years of service. Jadrich spoke a few words and even received a stand ovation at the council meeting for his services. Mayor Perrin says assistance Chief Kevin Miller with take over as Fire Chief, beginning in February.

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