Springdale City Council approves 2024 budget; downtown development contract OK’d

Springdale city administration building Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
Springdale city administration building Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

SPRINGDALE -- The city's 2024 budget was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Springdale City Council.

"This is an excellent budget in fairly uncertain times," Mayor Doug Sprouse said.

The aldermen were given the latest budget figures as part of Tuesday's agenda packet and had no questions during the meeting.

The City Council had voted to add the cost of buying 24 new vehicles for the Police Department and other city departments into the budget at a committee meeting last week. The new vehicles added about $1 million to the city's general fund budget for 2024.

Sprouse and Colby Fulfer, his chief of staff, said last week the city is trying to purchase the vehicles now and may be able to get the purchase done before the end of the year, so they were not initially included in the 2024 budget. Sprouse said the money will come from the city's general fund reserve no matter when they are purchased.

The city is budgeting for general fund revenues of about $72 million in 2024, which represents a 3% increase over the projected revenues for 2023, according to information from the city. The 2024 budget shows expenditures of just under $71 million, which is an increase of about 9% over the projected 2023 expenditures.

Also Tuesday, the City Council approved a resolution setting the 2024 salaries of the city's elected officials and members of the Planning Commission.

According to information from the city, Sprouse's salary will increase from $156,390 to $162,646. City Attorney Ernest Cate's salary will increase from $143,275 to $149,006. City Clerk/Treasurer Denise Pearce will see a salary increase from $109,562 to $113,944.

The pay for City Council members will increase from $12,720 to $13,229, and salaries for members of the Planning Commission will increase from $5,088 to about $5,291.

City employees will see raises in 2024, as well, according to information from Cody Loerts, the city's finance director. Loerts said the city had a salary study done and some positions were recommended for larger increases to keep them in line with similar positions in other city governments. In general, Loerts said, city employees will see raises of around 4%.

Also Tuesday, the City Council authorized Sprouse and Pearce to enter into a contract for consultant services with H3 Studio for work on the city's Downtown Master Plan, the Southeast Development Master Plan and the Downtown Parking Study.

Sprouse said the additional work is needed to help the city "stay ahead" of the growth that is happening in the downtown Springdale area.

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