Public Gives Input On Moss Point Budget - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Public Gives Input On Moss Point Budget

It's budget time for cities across the coast. Tuesday, Moss Point's Board of Alderman held a public hearing to review the 2006-2007 budget.   

"There were a lot of people fighting on this budget, a whole bunch," Alderman James Smith said.   

And the battle continued at the Moss Point City Hall meeting as residents held nothing back.   

"Understand, Moss Point's future is in the hands of those children. Neglect them, you neglect our future," one resident said.

While children's recreation makes up three percent of this year's budget, Mayor Xavier Bishop says two-thirds of the budget will go toward public safety and public works.   

"With the police department, we're able to not only realign salaries, but also bring on some additional police officers. With the fire department, we're able to address, again, salary alignment, while at the same time making a greater allocation toward vehicle maintenance and training. And public works as well we're able to address manpower needs and equipment needs," Mayor Bishop said.

Another major issue the budget addresses is the maintenance of ditches and sidewalks.

"The level of neglect has existed for a long time here in the city. We're trying to address that by focusing our manpower in public works on issues like landscaping and drainage ditches," Bishop said.   

The mayor hopes residents can put tax refunds from this year's budget to personal use. But some residents say that money could be better spent in the city.   

"Why can't the city keep the money and cut the grass, clean the ditches, and do those things rather than giving us the money that we can't do anything with?" Moss Point resident Houston Cunningham asked.     

"You continue to come in and raise heck like you are and complain like you do. We are going to change. I'm telling you, we are going to change," Smith said.       

Mayor Bishop says the board will meet next Tuesday to approve the final budget for the new fiscal year. 

By Keli Rabon

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