On Monday, Dec. 2, the Paris City Council unanimously approved a budget for 2014 that calls for spending $7.153 million. The budget has a $23,630 surplus.
The budget also includes increased spending on streets and water and sewer projects, thanks to sales tax hikes that were approved by voters. Voters statewide approved a half-cent sales tax increase for road projects and Paris voters approved a one-cent sales tax increase for water and sewer projects. Some of that revenue will be used to provide free home trash pick up in the city.
The city sales tax increase is expected to bring in $500,000 next year. The budget shows that in 2014, Paris will spend $324,000 on water and sewer projects and $176,000 to provide free trash pick up. The capital expenditure on streets next year will be $100,000, compared to $75,000 this year.
Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers said last week that he’s pretty happy with the budget.
"It’s pretty close to what was originally proposed and there are some capital improvement projects in it that we need," he said.
The budget also includes raises for some city employees. Aldermen approved a raise of 50-cents an hour for employees who are now making less than $10 an hour.
"That’s raises for seven employees," Rogers said.
The city has 37 full-time employees.
In order to produce a balanced budget, some items in the original proposal were cut, Rogers said.
"We had $50,000 in it for parks and that was cut back to $20,000," Rogers said. "The $30,000 was used to balance the budget and produce a $23,000 surplus."
Rogers also pointed out that the city spent $55,000 to match a $65,000 state grant this year and spent that $120,000 on parks.