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Pembroke approves budget
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Pembroke City Council approved a $1.699 million budget in a called meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

Mayor Judy Cook said the council diligently spent many hours considering the budget. "While acknowledging the economic downturn, and making every effort not to increase taxes, the city is limited as to the projects and services we will be able to provide in 2009," Cook said.

Some of the limits, according to Cook, are discontinuing mosquito spraying and using alternative, more economical, methods for control, not filling vacant city employment positions and not funding programs such as junior police.

"As always, we will continue in our efforts to provide responsive and effective service to our citizens and promote ‘pride in Pembroke," she said.

Council member Tony Greeson said cuts were made in all departments. He said the council reviewed all spending from previous years and will continue to make necessary changes as the economy changes.

"The nature of the economy and the time involved with the budget is one of the reasons we see the need for a City Administrator who would work hand-in-hand with each department to help keep costs down and keep the city moving forward," Greeson said.

"We’ve worked diligently to keep from raising taxes this year, and I hope that we can continue to not raise taxes in the future," he said.

According to Betty Hill, city clerk for Pembroke, general fund expenses are balanced by city income items such as taxes, which amounted to $313,581, local option sales tax, fines and forfeitures, garbage fees, planning and zoning fees, and other administrative fees.

"Many people think the amount collected in taxes takes care of all expenditures, but it doesn’t. It’s only a portion of it." Hill said.

Mayor Pro tem Johnnie Miller was the only council member absent from the meeting due to the serious illness of a friend.

The budget was approved as follows:

General Fund $282,254

Municipal Court $24,401

Police Dept. $517,561

Street/Sanitation $616,264

Prison Detail $54,522

Fire Dept. $111,944

Recreation Dept. $46,090

Downtown Programs $44,484

Planning & Zoning $1,700

Total $1,699,220

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