- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - The city of Tupelo has ended the last fiscal year with a $2.3 million surplus, which officials say will be used to fund large infrastructure projects.

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said “a culture of savings” has generated the surplus, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (https://bit.ly/1SegNZJ ) reported.

Over the past three years, the city’s efforts to save money have generated $5.6 million in budget surpluses. The revenues from each year have been transferred into the city’s capital projects budget.

“This approach allows us to protect our reserve fund for the City of Tupelo and also allows us to pay as we go on our capital projects plan,” Shelton said. “These are major expenditures to the infrastructure, quality of life and neighborhood revitalization projects that are so crucial.”

Shelton said the surplus allows the city to pay for revitalization projects without using its reserve fund and without increasing the city’s debt.

Chief Financial Officer Kim Hanna said conservative, but realistic, estimates are used during each year’s budgeting process. But each department works hard throughout the year to save money when it can.

The surplus was also created thanks to an improving economy and an increase in sales tax revenues this year.

Shelton said that the policy of transferring surpluses has allowed the city to fully fund the capital plan through 2018 without new debt or raiding the city’s rainy day fund.

The long-term capital plan has nearly $26 million in projects, but several big-ticket items have rolled over from previous budget years. That includes the $10 million new police headquarters and $2 million for a pair of large community storm shelters.

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Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com


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