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City council OKs budget

Russellville City Council approved the budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year at its Sept. 21 meeting, totaling $10 million.

The budget includes grant money and is an increase from last year’s budget of $9.4 million.

“We always try as much as we can to keep it as close to that same amount as we can, so this is exactly what we want to see,” said city clerk Belinda Miller.

Miller said the budget is similar to last year, except for increased expenses because of a 5 percent increase in health insurance and purchases because of COVID-19.

The council also approved Russellville Police Department applying for a grant through ADECA and LETS for the amount of $24,949.30.

RPD Chief Chris Hargett said this is a competitive grant to distribute federal money to the local government.

Hargett said if Russellville receives this grant, it will go toward helping offset the cost of a new patrol car to replace an older vehicle.

“Hopefully we will get the grant to offset the city having to pay so much on it,” Hargett said.

The grant is for almost $25,000, but Hargett said he expects the city to still have to fund a portion of the new vehicle.

He said the vehicle’s purchase cost would be about $30,000, and adding police equipment would bring the total between $35,000-40,000.

Hargett said he submitted the grant after receiving city approval and hopes to find out if RPD was selected by the end of October.

The council also approved hiring a laborer in the street department and revising the Russellville Fire Department’s volunteer list.