Perryville mayor shares details on budget, business going forward

Published 4:01 pm Monday, August 2, 2021

Perryville’s city budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 reflects a total income of $362,215 and total expenses of $362,118.81, with a net income of $96.19.

“It takes quite a bit of forethought to plan for a budget when it’s a small budget, as far as cities go — it is a small, tight budget,” said Perryville Mayor Brian Caldwell.

He said throughout the year’s spending, the city has to scrutinize “every penny” spent “because it really is tight.”

The FY 2021-2022 budget ordinance received approval of first and second readings in July. Caldwell discussed some of the larger line item expenses on the budget and what proposed projects will look like for future budgets. Overall, he said this year’s budget is quite standard compared to previous years’.

The dam project is something city officials knew was coming. Every year when the city drafts its budget, they set certain line items aside for miscellaneous expenses, which is where the dam project expenses are. In a July 8 city council meeting the city council accepted a $17,300 bid from Joe Conder of Conder Mobile Welding and Fabrication to make repairs on Perryville’s dam, so the project was included in the $20,000 miscellaneous expense line item on the fiscal year budget.

Caldwell said buying the new fire truck, which is not part of this year’s budget, is a different story.

“For towns our size with departments our size, we try to keep a rule of about 20 years because they don’t want the fire truck to be over 20 anyway as far as serviceability,” he said.

A new fire truck is also one of the largest expenses the city faces. On May 6, the city council accepted a $303,549.39 bid from Toyne Inc., through the local dealer High Tech Rescue, to buy a new fire truck. The city currently has one fire truck, which is about 21 years old and has broken down before.

The reason the truck is not yet incorporated into the city budget is because “It takes a while to build them, to equip them to the specifications of the fire department,” Caldwell said.

Since it takes about a year for delivery of a truck and Caldwell said there aren’t payments until delivery, it’s not yet part of this year’s budget, but in budgets for future fiscal years the fire truck expense will be factored in.

One of the largest expenses in the budget is garbage administration, at $43,000.

“That is a huge bill for the city,” Caldwell said. “That’s actually the biggest bill, as far as services go, that we pay because we pay for the citizens’ garbage collection.”

On July 8 the city renewed its contract with Republic Services, something it does approximately every three years. The vote was 4-1, with Steve Bailey as the dissenting vote. Rates also increase about 3% each year, something Caldwell said the city keeps in mind when it drafts its budget each year.

As far as the camera and audio system for recording higher-quality meeting footage to stream on Facebook, the purchase of which was reimbursed expense through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, the city encountered some roadblocks in getting that equipment set up. Specifically, the city did not have sufficient internet speeds to use the equipment and had to switch to a new provider, Spectrum. On July 8 Fire Chief Anthony Young announced the following day the internet would be set up.

“And I think those (pieces of equipment) are going to be operational for the next meeting,” Caldwell said. “It has been — oh my goodness, it’s been a hassle getting the camera system up and running.”

The next city council meeting is Thursday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. at Perryville City Hall.

The internet service will be part of the city’s regular monthly bills, which Caldwell said are “budgeted out” ahead of time.

As far as some other expenses in the city’s budget:

• There is $19,100 for the fire department, including e-dispatch, fuel, insurance, repair and maintenance to vehicle and equipment, fire chief compensation for responses and supplies.

• An allotted $124,298.93 for the police department, including salaries, retirement, insurance benefits, uniforms and other supplies, cruiser maintenance and fuel, educational training and other expenses.

• For street lighting, $21,000.

• There is $11,500 for legal and professional fees.

• For a few smaller expenses, there is $400 for grounds and park, $1,000 for Main Street Perryville, $500 for the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership and others.