Hattiesburg City Council approves FY 2018 budget

Hattiesburg City Council approves FY 2018 budget
Budget numbers provided by City of Hattiesburg
Budget numbers provided by City of Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council adopted the fiscal year 2018 budget for the city Thursday afternoon. 

It is nearly $125.5 million and provides money for salary increases for city employees in Water and Sewer, Public Works and Parks and Recreations departments.

"We're going to do these raises in April after we see exactly how much we get from our December sales tax and our road and bridge taxes and ad valorem taxes start coming in," said Carter Carroll, council president.

Also included are funds for a new fire station on Highway 49 north and $2.3 million for road paving projects. 

In addition, $880,000 will be set aside for drainage, sewer and road infrastructure for the District at Midtown project. 

The budget also comes with a three mill increase on property taxes.

That will mean a $32.50 increase on a home valued at $100,000.

"The silver lining is, if you live in the Hattiesburg Public School District, the amount of millage needed to fund that request actually went down, so the net millage increase, if you live in the city and live in the school district, is only .26 mils," said Toby Barker, mayor of Hattiesburg. "And so, while it's never ideal to pay more, if we're going to keep seeing economic growth, we're going to have to set our police and fire departments up to meet the needs brought on by that growth."

The city will purchase ten new patrol cars for the Police Department, along with one new pump truck and one new sprint truck for the Fire Department.

A new tree loader for parks and recreation and a new asphalt spreader for public works will also be bought.

The city will place a moratorium on all other vehicle purchases.