Petal to borrow money

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Petal's new city leaders are still figuring out ways to stabilize the city's budget. Facing shortfalls, the city plans to borrow $500,000.

Mayor Hal Marx and the Board of Alderman met with city accountant Doug King Tuesday to determine where the city is at financially.

"What Doug King told us was that our sales tax revenue is probably going to come in for the year at about $250,000 lower than it was estimated for the budget," said Marx.

Marx added this leaves the city no other choice but to bring down expenses. Marx doesn't anticipate that's going to mean any more layoffs or anymore cutbacks as far as services.

"I feel like if we cut back anymore we would be hindering the city's ability to do basic service," he said.

Marx believes the city needs to borrow money to cover any shortfalls in revenue and all board members agreed.

The city will borrow $500,000, and that money, "is strictly going to be there in case we have another shortfall in sales tax let's say for this month and for next month that doesn't come in as expected," said Marx.

"It's not being borrowed so that we can pay general expenses or just use as operating funds on a daily basis."

The money will be loaned with an interest rate of 3.5 percent. The annual required payment will be $172,000 for three years.

Marx said city officials are also looking into changing ordinances and codes to attract more businessed to the area.

"Obviously if we make it where it's more affordable for people to own a business in Petal, hopefully we will attract them in and as we grow in retail and commercial or revenue will increase, and that will solve some of our budget problems."

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