Budget Meetings For 2005 Underway in Jonesboro

December 21, 2004 -- Posted at 10:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO--The number crunching is underway as budget meetings for 2005 begin for the city of Jonesboro.

There will be a series of meetings with city department heads, council members, and Mayor Elect Doug Formon to request items needed by each department.

The public safety committee, including fire and police departments, met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss distribution of funds needed for manpower, cars, and equipment.

"As far as the manpower issues for the fire department, currently what we have in there are four firefighters,"said Formon.

Mayor Elect Formon says one main concern for the police department is lack of vehicles.

"In 2001, we only got a handful of cars, in 2002, we didn't get any so they are playing catchup trying to get their fleet up. Those cars are driven hard, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After two or three years, they are finished,"said Formon.

The requests by the departments are only suggestions.

Formon says these are preliminary meetings, and nothing has been finalized.

"What it's going to come down to is a suggested budget presented by me, to the city council, on january fourth, and they have to approve it,"said Formon.

Jonesboro's budget is just over 34 million dollars, but with each department's requests, money is already tight.

Formon, and other council members, will meet with the public works, public service, and finance committees later this month to discuss their needs as well.