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The Crittenden City Council has taken care of some major business matters for their 2011-2012 fiscal year.
At their regular meeting on June 5, council and new Fire Chief Lee Burton agreed to a contract for the Crittenden and Community Volunteer Fire Department and council met on June 9 for the second reading of the budget for the new fiscal year.
The city restored the fire department’s $5,000 cut, which was adopted in the 2010-2011 budget. In return, a 2008 policy that compensated firefighters at $5 per volunteer per run, with an overall cap of a $5,000 annually, was scrubbed. The city’s total fire department contract for the new year stands at $45,000.
“I brought the fire department back to $45,000, where I had them in the 2005 budget amount,” said Mayor James Livingood, who is serving a second term as mayor.
Livingood says that the $5 per run is something that should be an independent decision of the fire department. The city also supplies the fire department with a building, its upkeep and pays its utilities.
“That’s an in-house thing for the chief to handle,” he said. “He can do what he chooses. To me the fire department contract is similar to any contract: we’re contracting for a service and as long as they provide it as best they can with the funds that we supply, then we’re satisfied. I’m going to let Chief Burton handle it the way he wants to handle it with his people.”
The council voted unanimously to approve the new budget and the contract for the fire department.
The city’s 2012 budget includes general fund appropriations of $299,000, just $31,000 less than last year’s amount. Street maintenance was an area that Livingood wanted to raise, increasing it slightly from $38,500 to $40,000. While other city’s are struggling, Crittenden was able to stay within their 2011 budget. The city is financially sound with $1.5 million in certificates of deposit from previous years.
“Years ago, we were able to hold onto funds that we had, our CDs and things like this,” Livingood said. “We’re in what I consider to be very good shape and my job is to keep us there.”