Long Beach asking residents how to spend $1.7 million

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach wants to know how residents think more than a million dollars should be spent. This Wednesday the city is holding a public hearing to talk about the upcoming budget. Part of the discussion will be how to invest $1.7 million for capital projects.

The new Long Beach city hall is just one of many building projects underway in the city. Some residents say that's good but there's much more that need to be done.

Don Atwell, a Long Beach resident, wants to see better drainage to where he can drive down his street when it rains.

"There's still a lot of work to be done. Progress is being made but got a ways to go," said Atwell.

Many of the infrastructure improvements over the last few years were paid for with Hurricane Katrina related federal grants. Long Beach officials say now it's time to also use city money to help lure new residents and businesses.

Alderman Kaye Couvillon of Ward Three said, "This is just a chance to take some of the money we were using to fund debt to pay off debt and allocate it for this year and maybe next year to do some capital improvements in our city. "

"It's time to invest in our own city," said Couvillon. "I really want to invest our own city and bring it back to where it was and entice people to come. "

Couvillon says how to invest that money is a decision city leaders don't want to make alone. That's why they want residents to turn out for the budget hearings.

"It's their hard earned tax paying dollars. I owe it to them to do what they want to see done in our city. They need to come to our meetings, give us their opinion," Couvillon said. "I have a huge list of items I'd like to see done in the city. Without their input, I'm not sure what to prioritize. I can do it but I would like their input. It's their money. I want to see it spent wisely."

The Long Beach budget hearing is this Wednesday at 5 pm. Couvillon says the money reallocation will not affect city services nor will it take funding from fire or police departments.

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