Flashback Frank - 1973 Murfreesboro City Budget

Sep 02, 2021 at 08:00 am by Dalton Barrett

Ever wonder about the cost of governing the City of Murfreesboro in 1973?



The total, the entire budget for the City of Murfreesboro in 1973 was $2,924,761.83. Yep. We ran the City of Murfreesboro on less than $3,000,000. I doubt we could shampoo the carpets in the city-owned buildings for $3,000,000 today. But Murfreesboro has grown just a bit since 1973…


Who remembers parking meters in Murfreesboro? If you needed to park downtown, you need to feed the beast or risk a $2 fine. Parking meter revenue for Murfreesboro in 1973 was a whopping $19,000!


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


The budget for the Murfreesboro Police Department - $356,000. Fire Department - $448,000. The expense to monitor and maintain those infernal parking meters - $1,600.


Ironically, Murfreesboro City Schools budget was $207,000 while garbage collection was $239,000.

Linebaugh Library budget was $19,500. Parks & Rec was $201,000. Purchasing flowers for various occasions - $250.


The entire Planning Department budget – salaries, postage, association dues, etc. totaled $37,310.


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


The Murfreesboro Fire Department had a banner budget year in 1973 coming in at $448,110 including flashlights, bulbs and batteries, uniforms, hose and nozzle repair and replacement and turn-out suits for only $125 each. For the record, turnout gear today runs into the thousands of dollars. And $2,800 to replace the Assistant Fire Chief’s car.


I see a line item in the Parks & Recreations portion of the 1973 budget for $5,000 for the old Cox Memorial Gym once located on the present day site of the Rutherford County Health Department. And $1,000 for maintenance of the fences at the old Samsonite Ballpark fences.


Now for a few fun budget facts from 1973.

Mayor Hollis Westbrooks drew a salary of – are you ready - $20-a-week!!! Each council member drew $10-a-week! The City Manager made just over $16,000. A patrolman for the Murfreesboro Police Department made less than $6,000-a-year. A firefighter made less than $6,000-a-year as well.


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