Nov 30, 2021 - News

A breakdown of what's in Bentonville's budget for 2022

Illustration of a hundred-dollar bill breaking into smaller hundred-dollar bills.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Bentonville's City Council approved its budget for 2022 earlier this month. We'll walk you through the highlights.

Why it matters: Annual city budgets show residents where they can expect their tax money to go in the coming year, and what the city plans to prioritize when it comes to funding.

By the numbers: Bentonville has a budget of more than $62.8 million, up from $51.4 million last year.

  • Capital expenses, which include physical items ranging from new ambulances to copy machines, account for $9.5 million.

What's new: The budget covers salaries and other expenses for a new animal shelter that the city plans to start building next month. That includes $20,000 for information technology for the new building and salaries for two kennel technicians, plus an administrative assistant.

  • $1.95 million is allotted to expand City Council chambers to provide more space for public participation.
  • About $2.1 million is slated to create 45 new positions, including 11 Fire Department and 10 Police Department roles. A few part-time positions will also be upgraded to full-time roles.
  • $1 million for sidewalks.
  • A $750,000 addition to Fire Station 3 on Northwest 13th Street.
  • $1 million for street preservation maintenance.

Of note: The city also plans to add 14 positions in utilities such as electric, water and sewer. These departments have separate, dedicated funds not included in the general fund.

Between the lines: NWA cities were generally conservative in crafting their 2021 budgets, given the uncertainty of the pandemic in late 2020. But Bentonville's 2022 revenue projections are back up to pre-pandemic estimates.

  • Its 2020 general fund revenues were about $57 million, but the city budgeted only $49 million for 2021. About $58 million is expected in 2022.

Zoom out: We'll fill you in on other cities in the region when their 2022 budgets are ready.

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