City of Hattiesburg departments present budget proposals

City of Hattiesburg departments present budget proposals

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg public works, engineering, police, and fire departments each presented their proposed budget requests at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“Every year we go through this process,” Mayor Toby Barker said. "What we felt was important when we came into office was, and what the council wanted, was a robust discussion. It might seem at times that people disagree, but really it’s fleshing these things out because a budget really is a collective decision on what he priorities of municipality are.”

The city has been listening to proposals from departments for most of the summer. Monday was the last round of presentations.

Council members say the purpose of these proposals is to find out what is needed throughout the city.

“The council oversees ratifying and controlling the budget,” said Council President Carter Carroll. “What we need to do is talk with each department director and find out what their needs are. That way we’ll know how we can supply them with the amount of moneys they need to operate for the year.”

Now the council will go over the entire budget and then hold a public hearing.

“What we hear a lot about are employee salaries and making sure we have the equipment our employees need to do their job,” said Barker. “We hear about infrastructure and paving, all of those things come up to the surface when we are having these discussions and it really helps us frame a budget that is balanced, fair and really reflects where the city needs to go.”

The council will have to vote on the final budget before September 15.

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