Jackson budget focuses on infrastructure

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Jackson's massive infrastructure movement will continue in 2004 as the city plans to spend nearly $2.8 million on three major transportation projects.

Jackson will hold a public hearing Monday night on its proposed 2004 budget. The board of aldermen will review and pass a budget the same night.

Jim Roach, the city administrator, and Larry Koenig, the assistant administrator, are recommending a budget that will include $1.2 million for the East Main Street extension, about $1.1 million toward the Highway 34 and 72 widening, and another $430,000 for the Route D and Farmington intersection.

The new budget also calls for $447,000 in capital expenditures, like new vehicles and building improvements. About 22 percent of the capital budget, or $100,000, will be used to replace the sanitation department's truck shed that was damaged by the May 6 tornado.

The city expects to spend $27.4 million and take in around $19.4 million in 2004. The $8 million shortfall will come from specific funds -- bond issues or transportation taxes, for example -- for specific projects, like the transportation improvements.

The city expects to generate $9.3 million from the electric utility, with all but about $1 million to go back toward the costs for the electric department.

Koenig, who puts the budget together, said the city has projected a 2.4 percent increase in sales tax revenue and a 2-percent increase in utility revenue.

Roach said he is proud of the fact that the first thing he and Koenig consider when making out the budget are the city's 115 full-time employees, who will can expect anywhere from a 3-percent to 3.5-percent raise in 2004.

"We think our people are our number one asset," Roach said. "We consider the employees before we consider projects and equipment. We try to take care of our people and I think that's smart."



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