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Mulberry plans road, park upgrades

A newly approved 2014 budget for the City of Mulberry includes money for road improvements and the second phase of development at the city park.

During their December meeting, city council members approved a budget of $432,631 for the general fund, $238,785 for the street fund and $792,080 for the water fund, said Becky Shockley, assistant to Mayor Gary Baxter.

Both the general and water funds have the same amount of anticipated revenue as appropriated.

“The mayor is very big on trying to do a balanced budget - not spend any more than we have coming in,” Shockley said.

Though the appropriated amount for the street fund is $50,000 more than the $188,785 in anticipated revenue, Shockley said that money will come out of the reserve fund. The money will go toward paving roads, she said.

About $220,000 is set aside in reserve for various projects, she said. That includes money put aside for the second phase of city park development.

Work should begin soon on the second phase projects, which include a pavilion, restrooms, and installation of picnic tables, benches, grills, trash cans and some lighting, Shockley said.

Total costs for the park project is about $442,000, with half coming from a 50-50 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The money was split to cover the costs of each phase.

City officials are hoping the second phase of park projects will be completed by March, Shockley said.

Also at the December meeting, Jeff Brown announced that he is resigning from the city council, according to the meeting’s unapproved minutes.

Brown told his fellow council members that he has accepted a position with his company that will require him to move to Oklahoma City, and he will submit a formal resignation once he has a set date, the minutes state.

A new council member will have to be appointed in the new year to fulfill his term.

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