Flashback Frank – Murfreesboro City Budget 1973

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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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