Long Beach takes early look at next year's budget

Published: Mar. 24, 2015 at 1:43 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2015 at 4:37 PM CDT
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LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach hasn't raised its millage in nearly 20 years, and city employees haven't gotten a pay raise in seven years. That's why Mayor Billy Skellie says it's time to look into the idea.

"It's not necessarily saying we're going to do it, but get ahead of the curve and talk about it early. See if the board is interested in doing it. If they're not, then we won't be doing it," said Mayor Skellie.

There are about 120 city employees, including law enforcement and emergency responders. Mayor Skellie feels that in order to retain those workers, raises cannot be avoided.

"I had my comptroller tabulate a $150,000 house appraisal, tax appraisal would mean about $30 a year increase for somebody, for a resident," said Mayor Skellie.

The millage increase wouldn't only go toward pay raises. Mayor Skellie says it would help the city out with other important projects they have been struggling to finance.

"We're going to have some monies for capital improvements in this increase. So, that would be like there's some nagging roads that we might be able to get paved, not all of them, certainly not, but some really bad ones," said Mayor Skellie.

The mayor hopes to introduce the idea at Tuesday night's city council meeting and get feedback from board members, and of course citizens will get to weigh in as well.

"If there's a big upheaval with our citizens then certainly you don't want to create a bunch of riff, because we actually operate pretty smooth around here," said Mayor Skellie.

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