TUPELO • Mayor Jason Shelton’s administration presented city officials with a proposed capital budget plan for the next fiscal year at a council work session on Thursday that is just over $3 million.
The proposed plan for fiscal year 2020, which will not increase taxes, currently has most of the money going toward repairing roads, purchasing equipment for city departments and adding new vehicles.
Don Lewis, the city’s chief operating officer, said he is satisfied with the proposed budget and thinks most of the council is also pleased with the budget.
“I think the plan we have in place helps keep us on budget during the year,” Lewis said.
A capital plan is a portion of the city’s budget that is allocated toward long-term or bigger-ticket investment projects, such as constructing a new sidewalk or purchasing a new vehicle.
Later in the year, the city will vote on projects that will be purchased with a proposed bond debt of approximately $7.5 million. Some of the projects proposed to be purchased with bonds are constructing a new fire station, purchasing a new fire truck, improving the Bel Air Center and drainage work across the city.
Mayor Jason Shelton said he was pleased with this year’s budget and said it was part of his “pay as you go” budget philosophy that allows the city to invest in major projects that would benefit the city without incurring a lot of debt.
The combined cost of next year’s proposed bond debt and capital plan would be approximately $10.5 million. Last year, the city allocated approximately $12.6 million with a combined bond debt and capital plan.
Ward 6 Councilman Mike Bryan said he is satisfied with this year’s capital budget, but wishes a mast arm on the intersection of West Main Street and Thomas Street would have been included in the list of bonded projects.
“We’ve got some projects in the capital budget we really need to do,” Bryan said. “Later, we’re bonding some projects and that’s fine. Good structured debt is not bad.”
In January, the administration is proposing for the council to approve $7.5 million in bond debt for larger projects in the city.
The capital budget plan for the 2020 fiscal year did not draw many objections from council members, but there was some dissension from council members about the administration’s long-term capital plan for the future years.
Council members are expected to vote on the entire city budget at a special called council meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.