A resolution regarding the city of Arkadelphia’s operating budget for 2018 received a favorable nod from the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors Tuesday evening.

A resolution regarding the city of Arkadelphia’s operating budget for 2018 received a favorable nod from the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors Tuesday evening.
During their Dec. 19 meeting, Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley went over the proposed budget with directors.
According to Brinkley, when initial budgets submissions put the city upside down by $650,000.
“After we start moving and shaking and begging, we ended up with a budget that has a surplus of approximately $9,998,” said Brinkley.
In the city’s general fund, the airport is budgeted to remain at full staff. Brinkley noted that airport manager Michelle Anthony has done a good job with jet fuel sales to create a positive financial situation for the airport and the city.
Moving forward to the city’s community and special events position, Brinkley said plans are in place to change the position that was held by Derek Phillips who resigned in the fall.
Brinkley noted the fire department and grounds maintenance department are fully staffed.
In addition, Brinkley said changes will be made to the city’s parks department. Plans are to replace a full-time administrative assistant with a part-time bookkeeper and program manager.
The program manager will be responsible for increasing more participation in leagues and increasing the number of tournaments in the city.
“Hopefully we can have a program manger to program our assets so we can utilize them to make some money,” Brinkley said.
In addition, the city has plans of reallocating some dollars in the parks and special events department to improve customer service.
Brinkley noted the city’s police department is budgeted at full staff.
“We are going to change two permanent part-time dispatcher and merge them into one full-time dispatcher position with the intent of dispatchers going on 12-hour shifts,” said Brinkley.
In addition, Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Free has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.
“There is $15,000 in this budget for a child sexual offender case worker,” Brinkley explained.
These salary for this position will be split with the county and the prosector’s office.
“This is a good investment for the mental health of our staff as well as, hopefully, the prosecution of these criminals,” Brinkley said.
According to Brinkley, directors approved the purchase of new equipment for the city’s sanitation department. The new equipment will replace items that have aged out.
In addition, funds have been allocated to hire an administrative assistant for the weigh station. This employee will be responsible for weighing trucks coming in and out.
“The hope is, by doing this, we will get a better reading on the amount of trash going in for processing and those coming out,” Brinkley explained.
Other items addressed:
• Directors made several changes to its procedural rules.
The changes pertained to public notice, executive session and its open forum portion.