Tupelo mulls millions in capital expenses

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The city could spend about $15 million next year on major projects and big-ticket items if leaders approve a capital spending plan now under review.
Presented this week at City Hall, the budget calls for a host of park and neighborhood improvements, street and utility upgrades, new vehicles and equipment, and construction of Tupelo’s indoor aquatic center.
The aquatic center, approved last year by the city and slated for construction in Veterans Park, consumes two-thirds of the total capital budget plan with $9.5 million allocated to it in FY2013. An additional $1.4 million is proposed for FY2014, but that’s not included in the current fiscal year budget.
The capital budget is separate from the $32 million operating budget proposed earlier this month by Mayor Jack Reed Jr. That spending plan funds the day-to-day business of city government, including salaries, office supplies and utilities. Tax revenues fund a majority of the operating budget, versus bond proceeds for the capital spending plan.
Other major expenses in the capital plan include more than $840,000 in improvements to Gumtree Park and $540,000 for a spray park at City Park in the Joyner neighborhood.
The Public Works Department will spend an estimated $583,600 for new vehicles. The Fire Department will purchase a $500,000 fire truck.
Funds also will be allocated to the new Police Athletic League building, which the city purchased earlier this month from Tupelo’s Salvation Army.
The City Council must approve both the capital budget and the operating budget before either become official.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com

Capital Budget
Parks and Recreation $11,360,725

Infrastructure Improvements $1,028,432

Safe Routes to School $352,000

Fire Department $575,000

Police Department $87,135

Public Works $1,198,870

Contingencies $511,496

TOTAL $15,113,658

SOURCE: City of Tupelo