Special meeting called in Jackson to look at 2023 budget

JACKSON, Tenn. — Local city leaders discussed and approved the first half of the 2023 Fiscal Year budget.

The Jackson City Council met for a special called meeting to review and approve on a first reading a section of their budget.

Mayor Scott Conger says this is the second year meetings have been broken up into two week increments.

“We’re not going through the marathon meeting and have everyone fatigued by the time we get to a vote. I remember being on the council going, ‘Oh my gosh. What. Are we voting on now?’ You know, so everybody remembers what they’re voting on, we know what we’re voting on, we know what the funds are. We talk about the fund level. We’re not getting down to the minutia of what each department is doing. And it makes it, I think in my personal opinion, I think the council agrees, a lot cleaner process,” Conger said.

The first reading was officially passed by the council on Tuesday and a second reading will be voted on the following week.

Conger says this proposed budget, like the last one, faces obstacles such as inflation.

“At some point it has to flatten, but we don’t know at what point it’s going to flatten off. So we’re trying to account for increased fuel costs, increase operational costs, supply line shortages, supply chain issues. You know, we’re still waiting on vehicles, claw trucks that we ordered in July of 2021. They won’t get here until March of 2023,” Conger said.

Some items were ordered last year, and the council was forced to carry them over into next year’s budget.¬†Also included in the new budget are employee raises.

“We’ve seen about a five percent increase in our benefits. We’re taking that on as a city, not passing that on to our employees. I think we’re getting to the end of the salary study. We’ll meet with our department heads on Friday and be able to present something to council in July to be able to disseminate those salary increases to our employees,” Conger said.

Approval for the city’s 2023 budget is due by June 30.

The next special city council meeting to approve the budget on a second reading is next Tuesday at 9 a.m.

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