PARAGOULD, Ark- Paragould is bracing for dramatic drops in the city’s revenue with finance director Teresa Stormes saying this will affect their budget. Even with a hit, they to recover due to their well-stocked reserve account.
“We have declined on one end with privileged licenses and the money they are bringing in but then we have an influx in revenue from people taking their stimulus check and going to Walmart and getting big ticket items or groceries,” said Stormes.
Stormes says they will find out in late June how much money the city brought in from the month of April.
From March to April revenue was down double digits, as a result Stormes and Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill have asked employees to cut down on non- essential spending and travel.
One thing they are focused on is continuing to build the cities new fire station.
“He has talked with all the department heads to cut out non-essential things,” said Stormes. “The only thing is a new fire station and that was long overdue to protect our citizens. So, they’re just trying to be really cautious about what they do but also taking care of the people, because you have to have police and fire protection.”
While the city has a reserve fund Stormes says they should be fine, but they will see changes in their budget due to a decline in interest rates from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The city’s finances are sound, and I believe we are going to come out of it on top,” says Stormes. “The thing that I think will hit our city is that the reserves we do have that own interest in on we have been hit with a steep interest rate decline. That will hurt our budget.”
Stormes also applauded the mayor for his leadership during the pandemic for their reserves. We will also update you on the city’s finances when those numbers come in in June.