City of Petal looks to privatize its Public Works Department
PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Petal City officials are currently accepting proposals to privatize its Public Works Department, which would turn over its water, sewer and street departments to an outside company.
Many municipalities in the Pine Belt have already privatized their public works departments along with their sanitation departments.
The Board of Aldermen voted on June 21 to accept non-binding Requests for Proposals (RFP), allowing private entities to submit quotes for the services.
Mayor Tony Ducker said the move would help ease pressure off several areas where the city is hurting, such as healthcare and payments made to the Public Employee Retirement System, but more importantly, it’s about getting the most out of every dollar the city spends.
“I think it’s very important that we stretch the dollars that we get from an efficiency standpoint,” said Ducker. “One of the reasons you would enter into a contract of this nature or even talk about doing something like this, is that you would maximize the dollars and the resources that we have.”
Under privatization, some city workers might see pay increases, which could help with keeping skilled laborers in the city, and current employees would also get first choice on jobs with a new company if privatization were to happen.
Under such a scenario, it’s likely that the city would continue to handle the billing for the public works department.
The deadline for submitting proposals is August 1; after which time they will be opened and read during a regular meeting of the board of aldermen.
If approved, privatization of the city’s Public Works Department could happen later this year.
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