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As revenue rises, city concerned about renovation

BY CARRIE DILLARD cdillard@paducahsun.com

Revenue is trending up and the city will have a $1.1 million cash reserve next fiscal year, said City Manager Jeff Pederson as he sat down with the Paducah City Commission Tuesday for a budget workshop.

According to Pederson, revenue for the upcoming fiscal year, starting July 1, is projected to be $32.07 million, a 3.6 percent increase. The total budget is $51.46 million, with $30,386 in the general fund.

"Revenues have exceeded budgetary projections," he said. "The general fund has improved ... You ought to be very pleased."

With the additional revenue and positive cash reserve, the city was able to allow each department director a 2 percent increase in the overall budget, something was just wasn't possible in prior years, Pederson said.

With this proposed increase, Fire Chief Steve Kyle can hire a deputy chief; Police Chief Brandon Barnhill can increase professional development training within his department in preparation for the retirement of approximately five long-standing supervisors, and the city can upgrade its software system, which was first installed in 1994.

"This is the first time in years we've had a little bit of flexibility," said Finance Director Jonathan Perkins.

Even with some welcome wiggle room, the possibility of a $15 million City Hall renovation was not far from the commissioners' minds.

"I don't see anything on here for City Hall," said Commissioner Carol Gault. "I keep looking for money for City Hall. I think we need to look long term for this."

Commissioner Sandra Wilson agreed.

"I've hope you've come up with another plan," she said, looking to Pederson.

Pederson explained that because the commission had not decided between renovation or new construction, he didn't include it in the proposed budget.

"Without any revenue enhancement, renovation would add $1 million to the annual debt," Pederson said. "We don't have a strategy yet. We need to keep moving forward."

Commission members agreed to take more time to scrutinize the budget, especially the investments fund, and resume discussion next Tuesday.

The first reading of the budget ordinance is set for June 10. 

Contact Carrie Dillard, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.

Comments made about this article - 1 Total

wr posted on: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 9:51 AM

Title: As revenue rises, city concerned about renovation

"Without any revenue enhancement, renovation would add $1 million to the annual debt," Pederson said.
The infamous code words for tax increases. NO!
Make selection of prioritized projects that NEED to be done, and don't to the ones that done. The proposed marina immediately rises to the top of those which don't need to have any funds spent on them.
You have a budget. Learn to live within it.

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