Jeni Lind Brinkman

Jeni Lind Brinkman

Lebanon city leaders approved the city’s annual budget on first reading last week, although one councilor voiced concerns about the budget.

The 2020-2021 fiscal year budget, which Lebanon Finance Director Stuart Lawson said would leave the city’s general fund balance around $28 million, is a status quo budget based on uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council approved the budget on a 4-1 vote, with Councilor Jeni Lind Brinkman voting against the budget. Councilor Camille Burdine was absent from the meeting.

The councilors will take their second vote on the budget July 7 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Brinkman’s concerns centered around the number of cuts not made in the budget, although she noted it was a status quo budget.

“I think we could have been a little bit more proactive, we could have made more cuts,” said Brinkman, who previously asked city leaders to explore possible cuts to the mayor’s office budget because none were included in the budget.

Brinkman also expressed frustration because the city did not “plan ahead in terms of capital improvements.”

The council has planned capital projects and proposed funding included in the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget, according to Lawson.

The projects include aerobic flooring replacement at the Jimmy Floyd Family Center for $17,500, as well as park improvements for Baird Park and Cairo Bend Park, estimated at $200,000 and $900,000, respectively.

Other projects include sidewalk improvements on Highway 231 N. estimated at $273,000 and Briskin Lane improvements estimated at $644,400.

Brinkman said despite the city’s three-to-five-year capital projects plan, she would like it included in the annual budgets so councilors could made more informed decisions.

Lebanon received a sales tax revenue payment in May for $1,094,307, which represents sales tax collections from March.

“This is higher than the payment we received in April, which would represent sales in February,” Lawson said.

Recommended for you