PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Petal Board of Aldermen are currently in the process of determining the 2020 budget, and many are hoping it will include funding for the Petal Sports Association. But the mayor is voicing his concerns about the issue.
"The way it looks right now, the sports programs through PSA will be funded and the city will continue to operate our recreation program very closely to how we’ve done it in the past,” said Petal Mayor Hal Marx.
Marx said he has several concerns about the city continuing to help fund the Petal Sports Association.
"My concern with this is that I believe this is headed down the path of us having to raise taxes not this year but next year,” said Marx.
Marx said several board members are in favor of a raise in either sales taxes or property taxes for the program.
"I am against raising property taxes,” said Marx. “The only way I would support a sales tax, if the people voted on it, is if a good portion of that sales tax went toward public safety and infrastructure and not all going to recreation."
The city announced the possible budget cuts to PSA in July. Marx said the funds currently being used for the PSA should be used toward something else.
"We're not talking about doing away with youth sports,” said Marx. “My position simply is that the city cannot afford to maintain all the fields we have been maintaining. We need to let that money go toward other things that are a bigger priority."
There will be a public hearing on Sept. 3 to discuss the budget. Community members will be able to attend and voice their opinions about any issues they have with the budget.
The budget must be finalized by Sept. 15.