JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The City of Jonesboro's $64 million budget for 2013 was unanimously passed by Jonesboro City Council members in December. Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin told Region 8 News that improvements in 2012 mainly focused on drainage issues across the city. This year, however, they're focusing improvements elsewhere.
"One of the things I'm going to be working on, and administration this year, very, very closely is our transportation and infrastructure," Perrin said.
Mayor Perrin said they hope to make traffic improvements throughout Jonesboro. Some of those improvements are already taking shape, including a plan to make traffic flow more smoothly down high-traffic streets like Stadium Boulevard.
"It was engineered for 30,000 and we're averaging 37,000 now," he explained. Perrin said some of the transportation improvements also include re-milling some roads in the city.
Also in the 2013 budget, Perrin said more money has to be put out for Local Police and Fire Pension (LOPFI). This year, over $380,000 more will go toward police and fire pensions.
"That's going to continue to go up another 2 or 3 years and that's going to be a big jump in our budget," Perrin said. But, he explained, it's something that has to be done. "That's just by state law and there's not anything we can do about that other than just fund it."
In the end, Mayor Perrin said he anticipates the city to end the year with a half million dollar surplus. "A $500,000 surplus on a $64 million budget is pretty tight," he said. However, he said by shooting low on revenues, they should be okay and if need be, they can cut back on expenses.
"We're gonna have to watch our expenses every month as we go and our revenues," he said. But he is optimistic, "I feel very confident in the fact that we will obtain our goal. That we will have surplus in 2013."