Osceola City Council approves proposed 2020 budget before deadline

Osceola city council meets again, wrapping up budget cuts before deadline

OSCEOLA, Ark. (KAIT) - The Osceola City Council met Thursday evening to discuss the city’s 2020 budget, approving the budget unanimously.

The council had originally discussed a proposed $1 million budget cut. Wilson said at the time that the budget would affect several programs including a local homeless center.

Under the proposed 2020 budget that was approved Thursday, city officials anticipate $23.3 million in revenues with about $18 million expected from Osceola Municipal Light and Power and $4.293 million from the city.

As for expenses, city officials anticipate $22.790 million during 2020 with the vast majority ($15.2 million from Osceola Municipal Light and Power and $5.577 million from the city).

Osceola Mayor Sally Wilson told Region 8 News Friday that the revised budget came after a lot of discussion and that it was during a recent meeting that council members decided to reverse their decision on the $1 million proposed cut.

Council members, city officials, and citizens in Osceola also met Monday to discuss the budget..

It’s been a continuing battle for council members as they make decisions on what to cut out from their 2020 budget, and they had less than a week to decide whether some of the city services proposed to be cut last week will be made official.

Representatives of two community programs--the Main Street and SHIFT Homeless Center--explained to the council why they should continue to receive funding from the city and how the money will be used.

Bishop Gregory Brown, executive director of the SHIFT Center, said it needs $4,500 for utilities to continue providing for the community.

“Most of the folks that stay there don’t have family, so they don’t have anywhere else to go," Brown said. "So our place is a safe haven of supplemental health inspiring a full transmission, not by a handout, but a hand up.”

Other city services such as water, sewage, and general administration were also discussed, but no final votes were made.

The deadline for a final decision was needed by Feb. 1.

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