BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The City of Biloxi says it's planning to cut funds to the police and fire departments to help create a surplus in the budget. Fire Chief Joe Boney said he's keeping a close watch on the proposed budget cuts to his department.
"We have cuts in areas of the training budget and the uniform budget. It's mostly in the operating, not in the personnel budgets. They also cut one of the firefighter's positions, but it was vacant," said Boney.
The city says it plans to cut $1.4 million from the police department's funding and $300,000 from the fire department. City spokesman Vincent Creel said they're also eliminating six positions within the police department.
"They're vacant. Right now, we have 130 police officers, and when it's approved, we'll continue to have 130 police officers. We're also going to reduce some proposed equipment purchases. Instead of buying eight to 10 police cars this year, we won't," said Creel.
Creel said it's all in an effort to make sure the city stays within it's means.
"MGM Park is $1.9 million a year the city must pay, so anything we can do to reduce that is good, whether it's the Shuckers or live entertainment," said Creel.
Creel said MGM Park was originally intended to bring in more revenue for the city.
"While the Shuckers are continuing to make progress, we have not seen the number of live entertainment events that we need over there," Creel said.
Creel said with the proposed budget, the city should have at least $4 million left over at the end of the fiscal year.