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Aldermen meet to hold budget hearing, cut expenses

Poplarville’s Board of Alderman held a special call meeting on Thursday to review the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

The Board met to iron out $378,471 in deficit revenue and excessive expenses.

Discussions during the meeting included expenses in the Police Department and Fire Department. The Fire Department has spent 89 percent of its budget; the Police Department has spent 65 percent of its budget.

Items removed from the budget include planned repairs to the current Police Department building, totaling $28,876, and $6,200 to replace the old HVAC system. The Board intends to sell the old building as is with out repairs. On average, the Police Department has between $3,400 and $3,700 in expenses a month, and those numbers will possibly rise if a salary increase in put into place. The Board is looking to increase pay by 2 percent for all full time workers, equating to an additional $18,750 in expenses.

The Police Department’s payroll is $405,626.

At the Fire Department, about $12,000 in repairs to the parking lot at the fire station was put in the proposed budget. The Fire Department plans to hire one full time and two part time firefighters for 24 hour or 12-hour shifts in an effort to have at least two firefighters working around the clock. Each part time firefighter will be volunteer certified. The Fire Department’s annual payroll is $194,027.

The Board set aside $64,788 in the budget to cover planned projects.

Pay for the city’s Mayor and Board totals $96,824 annually.

Out of the 378,472 in overages in the budget, the Board was able to cut all but $62,111 in deficit revenue and expenses.