The 2022 budget for the city of Paragould is in the hands of the city council.

It calls for revenues of $16,899,114.40 against expenditures of $16,789,107.42, for a surplus of $110,006.98.

The council is to consider the document and then vote on it at its Dec. 13 meeting.

For city administration, the budget includes increased funding for travel, the purchase of an additional 36 mobile sky patrol units, a new pickup truck for the Information Technology (IT) Department and added spending for new computer servers, software and enhanced cybersecurity services. Owing to ongoing revenue from hangar rentals and fuel sales, the Paragould Municipal Airport is anticipating a surplus of revenues over expenditures of $52,393. In the words of Paragould Mayor Josh Agee, the airport is now self-sufficient.

The Animal Control Department expects to buy a new dog box and two handheld radios. The Emergency 911 department anticipates a 23 percent decrease in operating expenses for 2022 over its four-year average, from $313,787.59 to $204,610.78.

The Fire Department plans a remodeling of the number 4 fire station (on Highway 49 South) as well as purchase of a side-by-side all-terrain vehicle with the ability to carry a spine board for enhanced off-road rescue capability. The Parks Department’s budget includes (among other things) plans to buy a four-wheel drive truck, a sports utility vehicle (SUV), three mowers, a pull-behind blower for Eight Mile Trail and a new Gator utility vehicle. The department also plans to replace the roof of the community center and install new lighting at the concession stand, and construct a nine-hole disc golf course at Reynolds Park.

The newly created Office of Planning and Development (which combined the office of Code Enforcement with that of the City Inspector) is to buy three four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and an SUV. It will also buy new software for both offices and fund pay for the newly hired staff personnel.

The Police Department will add computers equipped with global positioning systems (GPS) to all its patrol units to alleviate communications problems. It will also add five new gasoline-powered Ford Explorer vehicles plus two hybrid Explorers, along with 42 hand-held radios for discreet communications. The department will also spend an added $10,000 for night-vision helmets, training and so on for its Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and another $10,000 for replacement of bulletproof vests.

The Sanitation Department budget includes funding for five new sanitation trucks and a set of Johnny Jaws. According to the web site of the manufacturer, a set of Johnny Jaws is an aftermarket attachment designed and engineered for installation on the vast majority of Front-load refuse truck designs and enables servicing of both Front and Rear-load commercial refuse containers.

The Street Department has an added $50,000 for contracted drainage work on Lake Street, Loggy Creek and and Cindy Drive. It also includes funding for a four-wheel-drive pickup truck and new gravel dump truck, and replacement of all street signs in the city.

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