Budget talks continue in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (AP) - The City of Biloxi has to have a budget in place before the October first deadline. Tuesday, members of the city council spoke with department heads about cutting costs.

Some would consider it a maze of numbers, but to council members like Bill Stallworth it is a puzzle that must be precisely put together.

"We're looking at how much we're going to be able to save, operational costs... Now we're taking a look at the final budget numbers," Stallworth said.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were discussed during the two hour meeting. The objective was to determine exactly how much money could be cut from departments within the city's budget.

"The $112,000 out of Parks and Recreation and we had another $20,000 taken out of the Mayor's Department. We have another $100,000 out of Community Development. So, it's been moving along. We really are cutting."

Stallworth said it's important each department cut as much money as possible.

"It gives us movement in our general fund for emergencies and everything else. So, we want our general fund budget as high as possible... so in case we have an emergency, we'll be able to weather those storms," said Stallworth.

Budget talks will continue throughout the month. Only a portion of the departments were discussed at Tuesday's meeting. Stallworth said the police and fire departments will be the main topic at the next meeting. And that furloughs should also be discussed, although that's an option Stallworth hopes city employees won't see next year.

The next meeting is Tuesday at 9am in the council chambers.

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