Two cost cutting measures to go before Biloxi's City Council - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Two cost cutting measures to go before Biloxi's City Council

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Two cost cutting measures involving longevity pay and employee healthcare premiums will go before the Biloxi City Council later today. Mayor A.J. Holloway is asking the council to approve rolling back the city's longevity pay program from $15 to $6 a month and having employees pay a share of healthcare premiums.

The healthcare resolution being presented says the cuts are needed because of the national economic downturn and the need to end the current fiscal year in a positive financial condition. Currently the city picks up the whole tab for employee healthcare, paying $5,000 for single employees and $13,400 for employees with family coverage.

Under the proposal, starting April 1st single employees would pay $100 a month while employees with dependents would pay $200 a month. The mayor said the city would save $2.1 million a year if the council approves both longevity pay and healthcare measures.

The Mayor said he would like to see the city reduce operating expenses by nearly $5 million to offset several years of deficit budgeting.

"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 reports post Katrina both employee pay and benefits increased by a cumulative total of $8 million a year.  Holloway also said other cost-cutting measures like furloughs, that have been discussed with the council, have not been ruled out.

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