Preliminary 2019 Kirksville budget approved, citizen questions KPD and fire chief salary

During a meeting Monday night, council members were asked to approve the budget for 2019 on its first reading. (KTVO File)

The Kirksville City Council is continuing to make plans for 2019.

During a meeting Monday night, council members were asked to approve the budget for 2019 on its first reading.

City staffers first began the budget planning process in August.

Since that time, council members and city personnel have spent considerable time reviewing and projecting revenues and expenditures anticipated for the coming year.

According to the city, the proposed budget is a policy document that covers all municipal operations and services.

It integrates traditional service requirements with future planning goals, and new policy initiatives suggested by staff, citizens and council.

The 2019 budget includes aggregate expenditures of $45,881,789.

That amount is an overall increase of 53.4 percent from the 2018 budget as amended.

Funding for the following functions and their respective percentage of the total budget are:

  • Water, sewer, trash and stormwater services: 31%
  • Emergency services, including police, fire and E-911: 17%
  • Public works, streets, codes and engineering: 14%
  • Recreation services: 13%
  • Central garage operations and self-insured medical and dental plans: 7%
  • Transportation services: 4%
  • Community support, administrative services, information technology, economic development, infrastructure, grant projects, lodging tax-pass through and municipal court: 14%

According to the city, infrastructure improvement and capital replacement in the amount of $19.91 million is included in the respective funds and represents 43% of the total budget allocation.

On Monday, council members approved the budget on its first reading with a unanimous vote.

Prior to the approval, one Kirksville citizen questioned council as to why Jim Hughes, who currently serves as Kirksville Police Chief and Kirksville Fire Chief wears two hats.

She asked if Hughes was being paid the full salaries for both positions.

Councilman Zac Burden informed the citizen that Hughes was being paid half the salary from each department, because he splits his time between the two.

In March 2017, Hughes was named interim fire chief after Fire Chief Tom Collins was relieved of his duties.

Later that year, it was announced Hughes would assume the role of Kirksville Fire Chief.

City council members will discuss the budget a second time this month.

During a meeting on December 17, council will be asked to approve the budget on its second reading.

At this time, the budget is preliminary, and is not considered a finalized document until council has given a final approval later this month.

To view a copy of the proposed 2019 budget for the City of Kirksville, click here.

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