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Paris City Council Passes Budget

Alex Gladden
Times Record
Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers says annexation of land for the city would cost money on the front end but ultimately bring in more revenue for the city.

The Paris City Council passed its 2021 budget Jan. 4, including money that could be put toward annexing new land into the city. 

The city has $20,000 in its general fund that Mayor Daniel Rogers said he is thinking about putting toward pursuing annexing new land. 

Paris is 4.68 square miles, a size that is unusually small for a city with a population of about 3,500 , Rogers said. 

Ozark, which is similarly sized, has almost double the number of square miles of Paris. 

“I just think we are kind of landlocked,” Rogers explained. 

Increasing the town’s size would also increase its population, which would bring in more taxes and money from the state. Ultimately, annexation would bring Paris more money, Rogers said.

On the front end, annexation would cost money. The options for choosing to annex land are petition and special election. Rogers said he is leaning toward a special election, which would cost a few thousand dollars. 

The city would also have to pay for a surveying company to draw up new city lines and for new fire hydrants. 

Rogers said he is looking for new avenues to bring money to the city after the American Axle & Manufacturing plant pulled out of the city about a year and a half ago. 

“I’m going to be working hard to look at some new ideas to help us throughout this year,” Rogers said. 

The city is having to find new income to replace the about $350,000 that the American Axle & Manufacturing plant paid the city for electricity. 

Because of this the city has stuck to a conservative budget, which means the city isn’t spending any money to develop its parks besides its usual spending on maintenance of the parks. 

“It’s just a real conservative, low-spending budget,” Rogers said. 

The city will be spending money to add sidewalks from the Paris Middle School to the Boys & Girls Club. 

The state will pay for 80% of the project, and the city will pay for the remaining 20% out of its Street & Drainage Projects fund that has $75,000. 

The money that remains in the Street & Drainage Projects fund after putting in sidewalks will go to street repairs and overlays. 

The city will also buy a new backhoe for approximately $100,000 over five years. The first payment will be $24,000. 

Workers will still use the old backhoe out at the landfill, instead of having to drive the new backhoe back and forth to the landfill. 

The city is buying a fire truck to replace its 1982 truck that’s not working properly. The city will pay $150,000 over five years for the truck. 

This year’s payment will be $35,000, according to the budget. 

Rogers said he’s looking to buy a used fire truck. 

At the meeting, Fire Department Chief John Paul Wells requested that he be allowed to hire two more firefighters, upping his number from 16 to 18. 

“It’s a very critical part of our city,” Wells said about the fire department. 

Rogers said the city could consider adding more firefighters if they had lowered insurance. The city pays $150,000 for the firefighters’ insurance. 

The city will study the effort and make a decision.