The City of Petal facing cuts

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) - "We received our tax assessment evaluation for the year. As all of Forrest County and Hattiesburg did. We also dropped in our property tax assessment value," said Mayor of Petal, Hal Marx.

Which means, Mayor Marx, the aldermen and the city's accountant will hold a special meeting where tough decisions will be made.

"We lost about $15 million in assessment value. Which means our milage will not bring in the same amount of money it did the year before," said Mayor Marx.

The mayor says supplementing the loss will be easier said than done.

"The problem is over the last couple of years we have done a pretty good job on our spending, to the point where we have cut most of what can be cut without affecting the departments ability to do their job," said Mayor Marx.

Mayor Marx says the city doesn't want to raise milage and fees, but cuts will have to be made.

"People have talked about it. They have heard we may be closing the Senior Citizen's Center . That is a possibility. It hasn't been decided yet. It will ultimately be decided by the Board of Aldermen after we look at our budget," said Mayor Marx.

The mayor added the city is looking into a few solutions.

"Closing the building and letting the 3-D school lease the building, and we move some of the programs to Civic Center where it was located before the senior center was open a couple of years ago. There is a possibility of a way to combine maybe a slight fee increase on solid waste, your garbage with some cuts on the other side make it balance out," said Mayor Marx.

Whatever the solution the mayor wants the public to know he would rather cut the luxuries before he cuts the essential services.