Hattiesburg presents first balanced budget in 10 years at city council meeting

Hattiesburg presents first balanced budget in 10 years at city council meeting

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg is moving forward with plans of using its CARES Act money.

The city submitted its plans for spending the $3 million dollars to the federal government on Tuesday.

“We’re going to use that to supplement our operations during this pandemic, which will take some pressure off the general fund," Mayor Toby Barker said. "We’re going through the process right now working with FTA [Federal Transit Administration].”

Speaking of the general fund, the city also held a public hearing on its budget for fiscal year 2021, which is expected to be adopted in the coming weeks.

“For the first time in 10 years, we are presenting a balanced budget for the council to vote on," Barker said. "That’s a tremendous accomplishment that really shows the discipline we’ve had, particularly this year when we had to make some tough decisions to keep ourselves balanced.”

The budget features several highlights.

“Continues to invest in infrastructure. For the second year we’ll have a set $400,000 that we can invest in drainage, as well as $2.7 million for paving on top of the second phase of the internet sales tax," Barker said. "So residents will continue to see paving and other infrastructure work going on.”

The city is also asking for a $200,000 grant for 15 murals throughout the city, of which $100,000 would be federally funded and $100,000 locally funded.

“It also represents progress that in the middle in of a really bad situation, we’re going to continue to see the city advance, we’re going to continue accomplish things and we’re going to continue to beautify our city,” Barker said.

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