Waveland cuts 3 employees, reorganizes to save money

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland is laying off three more city employees, and reorganizing several city departments in order to meet budget. The changes were approved Monday night.

Waveland cut 11 employees earlier this year, but councilwoman Lili Stahler said that wasn't enough to balance the budget.

"We have a great many grants a lot of construction going on public buildings. They're going to be finished. We're going to have to insure them," Stahler said. "Sales taxes are not as we anticipated. We're going into our summer months now and I hope the repercussions from the BP oil spill, which gave use a bad summer last year, will be a much better summer this year."

The layoffs come from the Building Department, and include a full time inspector, a part time inspector, and the clerk. That department is now merged with the Public Works Department.

Brent Anderson will serve as Public Works Director. His duties will include those formerly held by the Public Works Director and Building Department Director. Anderson will also continue to serve as the city's Recovery Manager.

One of the two supervisor positions in the Public Works Department has also been eliminated. Dwight Haskell will now serve as supervisor of both the streets and utilities departments of the Public Works Department. Kenny Kientz will serve as lead operator in the streets department. Corey Stone will serve as laborer and equipment operator in the utilities department.

The city will contract a private company, Carrigee Consulting, Inc., for all building inspections and building plan review work. The layoffs and other changes are expected to save the city about $170,000 over the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2011.

Changes are also coming to the Waveland Animal Shelter. City leaders eliminated the position of Assistant Director. The current Assistant Director will now serve as Kennel Technician.

Waveland also ended its contract to retain engineers with Digital Engineering, Inc. Digital will continue to provide services on projects that are currently underway, and by contract.

City leaders said the cuts shouldn't impact any city services provided to residents and no further cuts are expected this budget year.

"Though the actions last night were difficult actions to take, the future in the City of Waveland is bright and its impending revival is evident, as new businesses continue to open citywide." Mayor David Garcia wrote in a statement Tuesday.

Councilwoman Stahler said she is also looking forward to better days ahead.

"I am very optimistic. I think with our current administration taking the mean and lean approach, that we're going to have our expenses under control."

The layoffs and staff changes will become effective May 6th.

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