Furloughs tabled by Gulfport Council - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Furloughs tabled by Gulfport Council

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulfport City Council tabled furloughs for city employees during Tuesday's council meeting. Council members said it was a last minute addition to the agenda. They felt it didn't give employees enough time to come out and speak out on the issue. 

Ward 3 Councilwoman Ella Holmes Hines is pushing for a comprehensive meeting.

"If we're talking about benefits, overtime, salary reductions and vacation, let's do this in a comprehensive manner. I think that will give us a roadmap to what this looks like," Hines said.

The mayor presented the idea during his State of the City Address as a way to help cut the city's budget deficit.  He suggested reducing vacation and holiday benefits, as well as having employees take one furlough day each quarter.

Though it wasn't addressed by the council, some residents made sure the issue made it into the minutes during the citizens' forum. Council President Ricky Dombroski said the resolution should show up on next month's agenda.

Gulfport Fire Station 7 and the Gulfport Public Library also made it on Tuesday's agenda.

The council awarded a contract to start construction on the fire station, which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina.  The contract was awarded to Starks Contracting Company Incorporated for a little over $2 million. 

The city also approved a resolution to regain ownership of the hurricane-damaged Gulfport library building. The county owns the building; the city owns the land.  The mayor and council said they don't want to tear down the beachfront building.  Ideas include turning the library into a community center or hall to hold events.

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