Jonesboro council members discuss 2017 budget

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In a specially called city council meeting in Jonesboro, council members and the public had a first look at the plans for the 2017 city budget.

Mayor Harold Perrin broke the numbers down during a slideshow presentation showcasing the different changes that will take place over the next few years.

In 2017, operation and maintenance expenditures will go up 5% from 2016.
Salary and benefits will also go up 11%.
However, Perrin said there will be a decrease in both fixed assets and the capital improvement budget.

Through it all, Perrin stressed that in order to keep a balanced budget that will factor in the recent step raises and other expenses, they will have to pull from the excess reserve funds for the next few years.

"We are required to have a balanced budget and we will do so. We will have to pull from 2017, and 2018, and then in 2019 we will take a look at the reserve funds and determine what other actions need to be taken," said Perrin.

Perrin also said even though the reserves will go down each year, they will have enough to take care of any emergency situation that could happen.

"If we have something to come up, like a half-million-dollar item, rest assured that we will provide good customer service to citizens of Jonesboro," said Perrin. "We have funds to do so even though the budget is tight."

In 2019, Perrin said he hopes the city revenue will outweigh the cost of the salary increases so that they won't have to pull from the reserves in the future.

A finance committee meeting is scheduled to discuss the budget before going in front of the full council Tuesday night.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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