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Aldermen get 2014 draft budget

Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers presented his 2014 draft budget to Aldermen attending Tuesday’s meeting of the Paris City Council.

Rogers is proposing spending $7.1 million in 2014, compared to spending $7.2 this year. He’s also budgeting $465,000 for capitol improvement projects including $325,000 on new water and sewer lines and $140,000 in street and drainage work.

Some of the money he’s proposing to spend on water and sewer lines will come from a 1 percent increase in the sales tax, which voters approved last month in a special election.

The draft also forecasts a surplus of $15,545 but that could change, Rogers said.

“The surplus may go up because the council may want more of a surplus,” Rogers said.

Rogers added that the budget is “heavy on infrastructure projects.”

“For example, I’m asking that $140,000 be spent on streets and drainage work next year,” Rogers said. “We normally spend about $60,000 a year on streets and drainage. So, what I’m proposing is actually two years worth of work.”

One item not in the budget is a pay raise for city employees. Prior to the 2013 budget, raises were usually put into the budget as either a set amount or a percentage of pay. However, this year, Rogers based raises on evaluations of employees and pay scales for cities the size of Paris.

“That’s the way we did it this year and I’m going to ask that it be done that way in 2014,” Rogers said. “An employee could get a raise at any time. Just because we didn’t give out blanket raises doesn’t mean people haven’t gotten a raise this year. Some have.”

Also, Rogers is presenting a draft budget about a month earlier this year. By law, a mayor has to present a budget to a city council by December.

“Last year, they got the budget in October,” Rogers said. “It’s being given to them earlier this year so we’ll have plenty of time to get it right.”

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