CORBIN -- The budget for road maintenance more than triples what it had been allocated in previous years after the Corbin City Commission approved the Fiscal Year 2020 budget Monday afternoon in a special-called meeting.
Corbin Commissioners Trent Knuckles and Andrew Pennington, along with City Manager Marlon Sams, serve on the Budget Committee and helped decide how to allocate the $10,095,944 in the General Fund for the 2020 Fiscal Year which began Monday. Of those General Fund monies, $330,000 will go to road maintenance which is significantly higher than in years past.
Knuckles explained he felt it was time for the city to spend more on the maintenance of roads. After attending a city officials academy hosted by the Kentucky League of Cities in January, it was apparent that other cities were spending much more on their roads.
"It struck me, here in Corbin, we had really over the years been spending relatively little to maintain our roads, and I think that showed," Knuckles said.
"We have the resources now to do more and I felt like we should. I think that probably one of the most important things that a government does, especially a local government, is take care of the roads," he added. "That's about as bread and butter as it gets."
Knuckles explained Corbin Public Works Director Gary Kelly gathered a priority list of roads that needed paved and when looking at the list and the money available in the budget, Knuckles, Pennington and Sams decided they should go ahead and do all of those roads listed. The cost to pave those roads on the list came out to cost about $330,000, therefore the Budget Committee allotted that amount of money from the General Fund to road maintenance.
In past years about $80,000 to $110,000 was spent on road maintenance with almost all of that money coming from the municipal aid funds -- money the state provides the city for road and sidewalk maintenance.
Sidewalk maintenance was also allotted $50,000 in the budget.
"That's the second year in a row that we've allocated $50,000," Knuckles said, noting sidewalks are a constant upkeep item for cities.
Also budgeted in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget was a two percent raise for nearly all city employees.
"I feel like we've done that in a responsible way. I feel like we've been mindful of their needs," Knuckles said.
Recreation items for residents to be able to enjoy will also receive funding this fiscal year as well. The budget allocates $150,000 for the splash pad that is set to be located across the street from Corbin City Hall, where Economy Inn stands at 804 S. Main St. The equipment for the splash pad was already purchased after bidding out the project earlier this year, now the city will use the $150,000 for site prep and installation of the equipment.
The Larry Stevens Playground will continue to see updates with $25,000 being allocated for those improvements including swings for older children. In fiscal year 2019 a grant provided monies to expand the rubber surface at the playground and to add two new pieces of equipment for those with disabilities.
The Corbin City Police Department has the most monies allocated in the 2020 Fiscal Year budget with $2,902,052. The committee allotted $125,000 to upgrade the 911 dispatch center equipment which has had issues in the past few years due to it needing updated.
#KeepCorbinClean will continue to be an effort supported by the City Commission. The #KeepCorbinClean project was started three years ago by Knuckles, Pennington and Pastor Mike Addison. Mayor Suzie Razmus kept the ball rolling with the project when she took office this year by purchasing a #KeepCorbinClean truck and designating two Public Works employees to pick up litter throughout the city each day.
Knuckles said in Razmus' first six months in office the cost to maintain that program was about $4,000 so the Budget Committee doubled that with the idea that to maintain it for the whole year, $8,000 would be needed.
The 2020 Fiscal Year budget was approved by all of Corbin City Commission during its special-called meeting on Monday, following a public hearing which was held Friday morning. The budget is as follows:
General Government -- $882,350
Police -- $2,902,052
Fire -- $1,678,350
Public Works -- $2,047,267
Recycling Center -- $429,794
Parks & Recreation -- $984,495
Building Inspection -- $132,856
Flood Control Fund -- $15,000
Special Projects -- $148,000
Economic Development -- $75,000
Debt Service -- $136,800
Downtown Manager -- $163,980
Arena -- $500,000