Budget workshop held by Poplarville’s Aldermen

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2018

Poplarville’s Board of Alderman held a budget workshop to plan for fiscal year 2018-2019.

The meeting began with the Board addressing a deficit of $11,283 in the water fund. City Clerk Jane O’Neal suggested two ways to handle the deficit.  The Board could consider cutting the water fund, or transfer money from the general fund to the water fund.

In a separate matter, a total of $15,000 was added to the budget for the formation of the county’s economic development council. Neal said the funding was included in the budget after she received an official request from Pearl River County Board of Supervisors Vice-President Hudson Holliday.

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The Board also discussed the addition of another public defender to the municipal court’s payroll. Mayor Rossie Creel said a public defender was added in the middle of the current budget year at the request of the city prosecutor.

Creel said the total estimated court budget is about $76,000 so it isn’t a good idea to continue to add personnel to the court.

“Up to this point in the budget year, we’ve had final assessment collections of about $25,000. Court historically, up until last year, has paid for itself and has generated some revenue, but in the past couple of years it’s not and keeps getting worse,” Creel said.

Mayor Creel contacted City Prosecutor Clay Cranford during the meeting to clarify the need for two public defenders.

After his conversation with Cranford, Creel said two public defenders are present in the court during session and both make the same amount of money. 

The second public defender was added due Public Defender Kevin Roberts having conflicts in representing certain individuals.

Cranford told Creel that having two public defenders helps lessen those conflicts.

Creel said the court would have to pay an additional $125 an hour if they hired another defender.

The Board also discussed repairs to the old Mississippi Department of Corrections building, which is currently being used as a storage building. The estimated cost of repairs totaled $5,500, but the Board agreed to make immediate repairs at a cost of $2,500.

The total cost estimated for repairs to the Poplarville Library was also reduced from $14,375 to $10,000.

The next budget workshop is scheduled to take place on July 25 at 4.p.m, in City Hall.