Budget deadlines loom

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Local governments are facing deadlines to get their budgets in order before the new fiscal year begins October first.

There are no easy answers for cities across South Mississippi trying to balance the increased cost of providing services to citizens and falling revenues.

Biloxi leaders are expected to again tackle the thorny issue of making employees pay a portion of family health care. The city has been footing the entire bill for years. Sharing the cost will save the city money, and help fill part of the city's $7 million budget gap. Citizens of Biloxi can also expect to pay more for water.

In Gulfport, layoffs and fee increases are among the proposals for the 2011 budget. The $220 million budget under review proposes cutting 65 jobs. Employee costs make up 70% of Gulfport's budget.

D'Iberville's city manager says no layoffs are expected, and there's not fluff in the 2011 budget. The city does have to cover a $4 million general obligation bond payment, to cover its share of the costs to build a new city hall, create a town green and widen Central Avenue.

WLOX News will keep you up to date on the budget decisions on WLOX News and WLOX.com.

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