Jackson City Council approves first reading of budget

JACKSON, Tenn. — Hours before the city appeared in an emergency hearing in a lawsuit against them, City Council members met to hear the first reading of the 2017-2018 budget.

All nine members of the Jackson City Council met Tuesday in a special meeting dedicated to the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

“We approved the budget on first reading of the ordinance,” Mayor Jerry Gist said. “We’ll have our second reading on July 11.”

In a unanimous vote, the council approved the first reading.

“We feel good about this year’s budget,” Mayor Gist said. “It ends at the end of June, and we expect to have a fund balance left because we have some departments that have not spent all of their funding.”

After hearing a general report, department heads went before the council detailing their budget.

“We always need to invest more in public safety, but both our police and fire departments have done a great job on their budgets,” Mayor Gist said.

The total budget for the city is $68.1 million.

The police department is looking at adding 26 officers in the next year and is looking at a budget of $20.3 million. It’s a decision Mayor Gist and the Jackson Police chief  say will keep crime down.

“Our officers are doing a great job,” Mayor Gist said. “Our crime has dropped almost three fold from what it was in the past. That’s because it’s been proactive.”

The final reading of the budget is July 11.

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