City of Jonesboro prepares for new year with the approval of 2020 budget

City of Jonesboro prepares for new year with the approval of 2020 budget

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - After the Jonesboro Finance and Administration Committee agreed to move the 2020 budget on to the full council, councilmembers approved it Tuesday night.

The city said it has three goals, use city resources efficiently, provide responsive, cost-effective service to the community and provide matching funds to attract state and federal grants, private foundations and other outside funding.

But there’s concern over a $3.6 million deficit between what the city is bringing in, compared to what it’s spending.

City officials said with growth and inflation, the city's expenses and revenue cannot keep up.

For the last 3 years, the city has constantly dipped into the reserve fund.

However, Chief of Staff Mike Downing eased concerns by saying that despite withdrawing from that fund, we're still in a good shape.

By state law, the reserve cannot drop below 15 percent of what it costs to operate and maintain the city, which in this case, is $7.8 million.

Not only does the budget cover that, but it also currently has at least $20 million in excess.

Downing said the city will continue to find ways to save money and also make money.

“If we have to pull back other costs, we can do that during the budget year. I don’t think that’s going to happen because we were very conservative in our estimates that we projected in our budget,” Downing said.

The budget can be adjusted throughout the year through clean-up ordinances.

Mayor Harold Perrin said the city's first clean-up month will be in March.

To view the full budget, click here.

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