Hattiesburg City Council sets new budget

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After a long process of decision making, and facing a lacking revenue of $400,000 the Hattiesburg City Council finally has its budget.

But council president Kim Bradley says its not without millage increases.

"I think it was 2.1 mil increase. 1.6 of it was the school district and .5 had to do with our retirement fund,"said Bradley.

One thing residents will see happening is the Hattiesburg School District Maintenance Fund will raise mils from 54.13 to 57.23. Add in the district's debt service and its brought to 63.31. Bradley's sentiments on this is less than approving.

"We are exceeding the 55 mils this year to create the amount of money they requested last year. We are sucking up the $400,000. We are not going to have that as a city, but we are not going to go ask the citizens to fork over more money because their property is worth less. We are going to deal with what we have, and I feel like they should do the same. Two years in a row. Two years in a row we have had to increase the mils to meet their requirement," said Bradley.

But not everyone on the council agrees. Councilwoman Deborah Delgado says the city has to follow the law and support public education.

"I just want it to be crystal clear that in no way does that reflect any sentiment that I have. I am a product of Hattiesburg Public Schools. I know the challenges that our schools face," said Delgado.

Bradley says support has nothing to do with his opinion.

"I graduated from Hattiesburg High too. I am a product of Hattiesburg Public Schools. It has nothing to do with my support of the Hattiesburg Public Schools," said Bradley.

Regardless of the council members personal feelings Bradley says the budget is set and they are working to continue to make the city better.