Flashback Frank – Murfreesboro City Budget 1973


Have you ever wondered about the cost of governing the town of Murfreesboro in 1973?

In total, the total budget for the Town of Murfreesboro in 1973 was $ 2,924,761.83. Yeah. We managed the town of Murfreesboro with less than $ 3,000,000. I doubt we can wash carpets in city owned buildings for $ 3,000,000 today. But Murfreesboro has grown a bit since 1973 …

Who remembers the parking meters in Murfreesboro? If you had to park downtown, you have to feed the beast or risk a $ 2 fine. The revenue from parking meters for Murfreesboro in 1973 was $ 19,000!

Page 2 of the 1973 budget shows $ 232 in revenue from a “mobile home tax.” Penalties and interest for not paying your property taxes on time totaled $ 7,200.

Murfreesboro Police Department budget – $ 356,000. Fire Department – $ 448,000. The expense of monitoring and maintaining those hellish parking meters – $ 1,600.

Ironically, the budget for schools in the town of Murfreesboro was $ 207,000 while the garbage collection was $ 239,000.

The budget for the Linebaugh Library was $ 19,500. Parks and Recreation was $ 201,000. Purchase of flowers for various occasions – $ 250.

The total budget of the Planning Department – salaries, postage, association fees, etc. totaled $ 37,310.

The Murfreesboro Police Department’s budget for 1973, including salaries, flashlights, batteries and light bulbs, vehicle maintenance, typewriters, etc. was $ 356,496 for the entire year! And, that figure included raincoats at $ 6 each. Uniforms, including two pants at $ 100 each. Boots at $ 12 a pair. Oh, and there’s a line asking $ 2,800 for a new police car.

The Murfreesboro Fire Department had an exceptional budget year in 1973, reaching $ 448,110, including flashlights, bulbs and batteries, uniforms, repair and replacement of hoses and nozzles and overalls for only $ 125 each. For the record, the participation equipment is now in the thousands of dollars. And $ 2,800 to replace the deputy fire chief’s car.

I see a position in the Parks and Recreation portion of the 1973 budget for $ 5,000 for the old Cox Memorial Gymnasium formerly located on the current site of the Rutherford County Department of Health. And $ 1,000 for the maintenance of the fences of the old fences of the Samsonite Ballpark.

Now for some fun facts about the 1973 budget.

Mayor Hollis Westbrooks was paid a salary of – are you ready – $ 20 a week !!! Each board member pulled $ 10 per week! The general manager won just over $ 16,000. A patroller with the Murfreesboro Police Department was making less than $ 6,000 a year. A firefighter also earned less than $ 6,000 per year.

Enjoy this story and 2,000 more stories about the history of County Rutherford by visiting www.rutherfordtnhistory.org

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