BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway will ask the City Council Tuesday to approve two cost-cutting measures: rolling back the city's longevity pay and having employees pay a share of healthcare premiums. Currently, the city pays the entire premium cost for city employees and their families. The two measures, if approved, would save the city a total of $2.1 million annually.
Under the plan, single employees would pay $100 a month while employees with dependents would pay $200 a month. Currently, Biloxi taxpayers totally fund the program, which costs $5,000 for single employees and $13,400 for employees with family coverage. The longevity program would be cut from $15 to $6 a month.
Holloway is trying to reduce the City of Biloxi's operating expenses by nearly $5 million to offset several years of deficit budgeting, which have reduced the city's reserves.
"We'd like to get as close to that $5 million figure as we can," Holloway said. "We know it's not going to happen overnight and we know it's not going to be popular, but we need to start now. Another thing to keep in mind is that this $5 million figure is not set in stone. It's based on what we're seeing right now. It could go higher or it could go lower, depending on our revenue streams. The only thing certain is that we cannot continue the way we are -- spending more than we're taking in."
The City of Biloxi has a detailed outline of the proposed changes on its website.
The city's finances and the cost-cutting proposals will be discussed during the City Council's 1:30 p.m. meeting.
Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.