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Thu May 29, 2014
Paducah Reviews Next Year’s Budget, Finds Evidence of Growing Economy
More revenue is allowing Paducah city officials to increase their budgets and consider some city updates.
Commissioner Carol Gault says this week’s budget workshop shows that the economy is slowly rebounding with a nearly four percent rise in revenue.
“Everything is beginning to start on the uptick, and so therefore it affects all the other areas between business licenses and all the things that you start to see happening when businesses come to town and all those areas, the four general areas that we receive our revenues from,” she said.
She says that uptick in revenue is good news for city officials, who have been waiting to add improvements to their departments. They’re projected to get a two percent increase in their budgets.
“The department heads, they’ve had to really cut back and work with bare bones,” Gault said. “They’ve had the things that they need but it’s been difficult, you know. They’ve had to really tighten their belts and work in budget constraints. And I think this year we can see the economy loosening up a little bit and they were able to have some more flexibility.”
Paducah will also update its software so it can better serve residents. The current program was first installed two decades ago.
Additionally, Paducah’s General Fund reserve will increase from 8 to 10 percent, allowing more padding for any potential budget problems.
Gault is concerned though that the deteriorating City Hall was not listed in the proposed budget. But she says City Manager Jeff Pederson is continuing to research solutions for the building, which does not meet modern seismic standards and is crumbling in some areas.
The budget heads to its first reading June 10 and should pass before the start of the new fiscal year July 1.