Commissioners Approve Paducah's 2021 Budget
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - During their Wednesday meeting, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for the city's 2021 budget, and discussed the reopening of playgrounds.

City Manager Jim Arndt said the theme of their budget for the upcoming fiscal year is "budget in place," referring to their effort to keep the city's workforce, operations, and many of their ongoing projects moving forward even with an anticipated decrease in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials project a 10 percent decrease in revenue, directly impacting the city's main operating fund. The new General Fund budget is $35,888,465 which is an $85,000 decrease from the current budget.

The following measures are being included in their effort to balance the budget:

• A hiring freeze and the freezing of merit increases for the fiscal year;
• They will use approximately $1.5 million from the unreserved General Fund cash balance in excess of the required 12 percent reserves;
• They will be using $500,000 of reserves from the Debt Service Fund;
• They are using $789,375 from the Radio Fund to cover the cost of the city's portion of 911 operations.

Although they are expecting revenue decreases due to the pandemic, they shared the following positive news:

• The budget will cover all annual debt requirements in the amount of $3,968,945.
• Annual pension contributions are remaining flat.
• The budget does include a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase.
• The budget will include funding for their their current projects and purchases including $250,000 to start the televising and cleaning of the storm-water system and $400,000 which is set aside for a project with FEMA for the dredging of sediment near the Transient Boat Dock. • The budget includes 12 percent of reserves for the General Fund.
• They will still provide funding for the Grant-in-Aid program.
• There will be no increase in property tax rates.

City officials will review the budget again after six months into the new fiscal year to review their revenue projections and make any necessary adjustments. The new budget will be on the City of Paducah's website beginning in July, and can be found at the link below.

Parks and Recreation director Mark Thompson discussed the reopening of playgrounds, splashpads, and basketball courts. The city placed a restriction on the parks in March in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

Thompson said he took part in a meeting Wednesday with the CDC and the National Recreation and Park Association to discuss their guidelines for reopening playgrounds. Those recommendations include sanitizing the playground and daily disinfecting, proper signage that includes safety recommendations and the maximum number of children allowed on the playground based on the playground's square footage, and the placement of hand sanitizing stations near the playgrounds.

Officials hope to announce the reopening of Paducah's playgrounds in July.

Thompson also said that he has not received guidance from federal and state authorities on how to safely reopen public basketball courts. He has asked the Purchase District Health Department to gather information from the state on how to proceed.

You can see the full meeting below.

On the Net:

City Budget

Published 08:00 PM, Wednesday Jun. 24, 2020
Updated 11:45 AM, Thursday Jun. 25, 2020



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