Paducah leaders will soon vote on $71.3 million budget proposal

PADUCAH — Paducah leaders will soon decide whether to approve the city’s $71.3 million proposed budget.

Tuesday night, the Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to adopt the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. After Tuesday’s initial reading, the proposed budget is set to be voted on again in two weeks, on June 25.

The proposal, created by City Manager Jim Arndt and city staff, includes a projected $71,327,330 in expenditures. The projected revenue is $68,427,735, so $2,899,595 in reserves would be utilized to balance the budget.

Arndt explained that the city underestimated the revenue and overestimated the expenditures just to be safe.

“Typically, what happens is we end up bringing in more than we we spend out. And that’s what you should have,” said Arndt.

The proposed budget of $71.3 million is roughly $4 million more than the budget proposal that was presented during a workshop a month ago. “We had some different things kind of come up as far as projects go,” Arndt said.

Despite the increase, much of the key priorities in the budget proposal remain the same. They include $36 million for the general fund for maintenance and operation, and $9.6 million for capital improvement projects — including roadwork, sidewalk improvements, equipment for police and the fire department, and the rehabilitation of sports fields, among many other things.

Arndt said his budget proposal would also allocate $750,000 for the design phase of a sports plex — possibly baseball field quad plexes at Stuart Nelson Park and an indoor aquatic facility. Possible locations include downtown, the riverfront or Noble Park.

“Really hitting home high ports of our strategic plan,” said Arndt. “We made sure that those items on the capital improvements plan, which are funded in this budget, reflect the priorities of the Board of Commissioners.”

Arndt said the proposed budget also features money for major demolition projects.

“Looking at how can we help out those properties — like we had Kresge this year. What can we do to prevent another Kresge?,” Arndt said.

In addition, the proposed budget allocates money to cover the city’s 22 funds, including the state-mandated 12% increase in pension contributions.

Once the budget is approved, the city will post its 2019-2020 Budget Book online. To view the current year’s budget and budgets dating back to 2005, visit paducahky.gov/city-budget.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Commissioners also approved moving $80,000 from the general fund reserve to help build the Bob Leeper Bridge over Perkins creek. In addition, city leaders introduced an ordinance to transfer $750,000 from the general fund reserve to the floodwall project. They will vote on the ordinance on June 25.

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