Perryville passes first reading of budget

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Perryville City Council passed the first reading of the 2022-23 budget on Thursday.

Thursday’s meeting came after the council did not pass the budget at their regular meeting on June 14. The second reading needs to be passed by June 23; the council will hold the second reading on that day.

Mayor Carlos Miller introduced the budget, saying, “This budget reflects the commitment to maintain the highest level of government services by wisely using our resources to meet the community’s needs.”

The upcoming year’s budget has a beginning balance of $221,393; a projected revenue of $423,311; projected expenditures of $418,922; and an estimated year-end balance of $222,781.

All council members voted yes on the budget except Michael Lankford, who, at the previous meeting, spoke about the city’s need to cut back.

Miller spoke about the need for their police department to have its necessary resources; how the investment of a new fire truck will save citizens money on insurance premiums; and how the beautification committee is helping Perryville.

“The creation of the beautification committee has made quite an impact on the general appearance of our city, and this is only the beginning of what they have in store for our city,” Miller said.

Miller also said the city will create a new webpage to keep citizens more informed.

“I am confident that we are on the right track and I resolve to stay on this track to continue building on what we have accomplished and bring our city into the 21st century,” Miller concluded.

Council denied budget at previous meeting

At the previous Perryville City Council meeting on June 14, the council denied the budget by a 3-2 vote. Councilman Tim Simpson made the motion to approve the budget which was then seconded by council member Wayne Collins.

Lankford voted no, saying he believes the council already is spending too much.

“We are spending too much money; our spending has got to go down,” Lankford said. “That’s just the status for America, and I just believe when hard times come you’ve got to cut back.”

Lankford also said that they cannot continue to spend money and lay the cost on taxpayers.

Miller and City Clerk Ingrid Walker both thought the budget was reasonable.

“Overall this seems to be a pretty good budget,” Walker said. “It looks larger because of restricted funds not yet spent, which have been carried over to be spent in this fiscal year, however we are spending less than last year in our amended budget.”

The current year’s budget has an estimated balance of $123,698.50 with a projected $525,985.29 in revenue and $524,046.80 in projected expenditures.

The sum of restricted funds and road funds, which had to be carried over, inflated the budget by around $136,000. Without the $40,000 in restricted funds and $96,000 in road funds, the real budget would sit somewhere around $389,000.

Before the regular meeting, Councilman Chad Lanham resigned from the Perryville council. He had been on the council since January of this year, filling Carlos Miller’s spot when he became mayor. The council will begin the process of finding someone to fill the position at the next regular meeting.

Danville Water

At the June 14 meeting, former council member and Perryville native Rob Kernodle spoke to the council about his concerns with the lack of responses by the city of Danville to water leaks in the area.

“I feel like we get no service from Danville, despite the price hike that was implemented a couple years ago to increase response time to water issues,” Kernodle said. “I called 10 days ago about a water leak near my house and still have not seen a single Danville water truck show up to fix the problem.

Kernodle brought up an issue that he says top of mind to many in Perryville. The leak he referred to was one of the five currently happening in the county, with no response by the city of Danville, he said.

Miller reassured Kernodle that he is doing everything he can to get Danville to respond to the water leaks and other members shared in Kernodle’s frustration.

The restoration of the Main Street project was first presented and a number of fundraising events were brought to the commission’s attention. These events included a walk-a-thon scheduled for July 23 along with a turtle derby and ghost tours in the city scheduled for future dates.

All funds raised at these events will go toward restoring buildings on and/or near Main Street.

Street lights

Former Perryville Mayor Ann Sleet addressed the council with two concerns. Sleet asked for a street light by her home on Second Street to be turned back on and for residents not to be taxed for doing so.

Her complaint was in reference to the commission’s decision to implement a reduction of 25 percent of street lights in Perryville.

The members listened to her concerns and afterwards approved the light to be powered back on with no tax to residents.

ARPA funds

The meeting then moved to the latest updates on the American Rescue Plan Act funds, given by City Clerk Ingrid Walker. Perryville had not received the full amount of ARPA funds they were supposed to.

They were supposed to receive about $193,000 in two payments. The first payment was to be about $97,000, but the city only received $16,000.

“The budget fund has been updated and we are expecting the second fund between June 15 and June 30 in the amount of $16,000,” Walker said.

As for the money Perryville did not receive in the first fund, Walker said she hopes it will be disbursed soon.

The Roads Fund was also discussed at the meeting. Miller said that the commission is looking into repairs along East First Street and Third Street, Cox Street, and also Jackson Street.

However Miller also expressed financial concerns with repairing roads at this time saying, “Road black topping with prices where they are right now, I’m just not sure it is feasible to look at bids currently.”

Nonetheless, the commission did say they will monitor the situation and decide on a good time to start the street projects this year.

Before the meeting concluded, City Attorney Justin Johnson addressed the council members and notified them of his departure from the city attorney role. Johnson, who is taking a position elsewhere, will resign from his duties on July 1. He closed his farewell by thanking everyone on the board for their friendship and professionalism during his three years on the job.

In other business, the council:

• Passed the second reading of an amendment adding noise to the nuisance ordinance.

• Perryville Police conducted 18 traffic stops, responded to two city violations, one motor accident, three animal related issues, opened four new investigations, and completed Criminal Justice Awareness training.

• Perryville Fire responded to one motor accident, one hazmat, and three medical, and three good intention calls as well as completed three trainings.

• The commission will continue monitoring the success of 25 percent lighting rule and expect to save $3,000 in expenses from the decision.