Poplarville Aldermen discuss 2018-2019 budget changes

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 27, 2018

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen conducted another budget workshop Wednesday evening to discuss the city’s upcoming fiscal year.

The meeting began with discussion about how to balance the budget. The projected budget is $3.9 million, City Clerk Jane O’Neal said. At the beginning of the meeting they had to find $25,000 to balance the city’s budget.

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According to previous coverage, O’Neal received a request from the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors Vice President Hudson Holliday to include $15,000 in the budget to help fund development of an Economic Development Council.

O’Neal said the city had $15,000 in the budget for the Council, and $15,000 in the budget for improvements at the airport. Since the budget needed to be balanced, it was decided that one would have to be allotted to the budget.

Mayor Rossie Creel said that by contributing to the Economic Development Council, the city could be assured it would be able to appoint a representative, which could be positive for the city.

During discussion about how to come up with the $15,000, the possibility of decreasing funding to the airport was discussed. Creel said the airport is immaculate and is one of the city’s gems. In the coming year there are plans to extend the airport’s runway.

Alderwoman Anne Smith said the Board provide $10,000 to the airport during the previous fiscal year to build a fence. She suggested rotating the funds to give the airport the minimum (for upkeep and liability insurance) in the next fiscal year, and provide extra funding the year after that.

Creel added that the airport has to have approval from both the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Supervisors to conduct a large-scale project. Because of this, if the Board withdrew the additional funding, they would not be able to move forward with the project on their own.

“Every department has suffered because of our infrastructure project. We’re just gonna have to stick to our guns,” Creel said.

While it was decided during the budget workshop that the Board would provide the economic development council with $15,000, Creel said via phone that after more consideration, the Board decided the $15,000 would be given to the airport to use in the runway development plan.

No funding will be provided to the Economic Development Council by the Board of Aldermen

In a separate matter Smith said that a recent observation of the Mississippi Department of Corrections building showed one of the main doors is rotting.

Alderman Kevin Tillman said he was concerned about the door as well, and that funds should be put toward fixing the issue so no one breaks into the building.

“Cosmetics is one thing, structure is another,” Alderman Russell Miller said.

The building also needs to be pressure washed and painted as well, they said.

“I have a 14-year-old that needs some community service work anyway,” Creel said, jokingly.

The budget for the MDOC building was originally $2,500, but O’Neal said during the last meeting it was reduced by $2,000. Smith suggested allotting the remaining $500 to repair the door.

O’Neal said some building repairs listed in the budget – such as repairs to City Hall, are not mandatory since many are cosmetic.

The original budget for City Hall included $1,000 for commercial cleaning and $2,875 for building repairs. To help balance the budget, $2,375 was taken from the repairs.

O’Neal said the budget could possibly be approved as early as Aug. 7.