Pascagoula slices millage rate, adds police cruisers to the force

City leaders Thursday voted to approve a budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year

Pascagoula slices millage rate, adds police cruisers to the force

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Pascagoula city leaders Thursday voted on a new budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

It includes a two-mill decrease in property taxes for homeowners. The city will also add five new police cruisers and animal control officers. Non-merit city employees can expect a cost of living adjustment to their pay. Police and fire are merit employees, so their raises are already built in.

“Here’s another thing that we’re doing. We’re putting in investment into the fire stations, and we’re repairing some of the fire stations that needed those repairs made, and we’re doing capital projects," said Mayor Dane Maxwell.

Last year the city was faced with a $14 million deficit after discovering false documents from the previous administration. Layoffs and proper financial management and the city said they’re back on track.

“In that year’s time, we basically field-tested to see what we needed and what we didn’t need. So we cut to the bone. We realized animal control officers, for example, we need another one of those guys. We certainly need more patrol cars for police. So we’ve decided to put five new leases back into the budget. We’ve done all that and then turned around and gave a COLA raise to non-merit-based employees and a two-mill reduction in taxes," Maxwell added.

The new budget goes into effect on Oct. 1.

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