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Council Approves New Fiscal Budget On First Reading

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Council Approves New Fiscal Budget On First Reading

Revenues up some four percent, expenditures up 7.6 percent in Cookeville’s new fiscal year budget, approved on first reading Thursday.

Finance Director Brenda Imel said revenues total some $38.8 million, while expenditures tally $37.7 million. The budget also includes capital expenditures of some $5.1 million.

“This budget actually actually has a deficit of planned use of fund balance of $5,474,000,” Imel said. “And we’re projecting to finish fiscal year 25 with a fund balance of a little over $34 million.”

Some 88 percent of the city’s revenue comes from property, sales and business taxes. Imel said the city projected a two percent increase in sales tax revenue, budgeted to reach $19 million at the end of the current fiscal year.

Imel said the city will provide pay increases for its 473 full time employees. That includes a two percent pay scale adjustment, as well as a market adjustment of 50 cents per hour. In addition, merit increases based on evaluation will be awarded. That increase set for two percent for most employees, four percent for firefighters and police officers.

“Since 2000, we have put a great deal of effort into trying to improve our employees pay,” Imel said. “So this year we did not want to fall behind.”

The pay changes will cost the city about $1.2 million.

The new budget includes eight new full time personnel, including two new certified police officers.

Among capital projects set to begin in the new year include renovations to Cookeville Performing Arts Center and Dogwood Park, a $2 million project for Cane Creek, and money to complete 10th Street phase two as well as design work on phase three.

Imel said the total amount of money required to complete its scheduled projects stands at $35 million. The city will need to issue debt to pay about $27 million, Imel said.

Property taxes will not change for residents, with the rate standing at 92 cents. Imel said distribution will change, to put an additional five cents toward street paving, instead of general fund.

All told, across all divisions of the city, spending amounts to $234 million.


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