Vicksburg Board reviews $33 million budget; will approve Sept. 15

Published 5:44 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. introduced a proposed $33.1 million fiscal 2022 general fund budget featuring raises of 5 percent for police and firefighters, 3 percent for the city’s non-civil service employees, the mayor and aldermen and no tax increase.

The minimum wage for city public works employees is raised from $8.50 to $9 an hour under the budget and the starting pay for rookie police officers is raised from $14.15 an hour to $16.14 an hour.

Flaggs said the board will approve the budget Sept. 15, which is the state-mandated deadline. He said the resolution approving the budget will include provisions to increase the mayor’s salary by $20,000 and a 3-percent raise for Aldermen Mike Mayfield and Alex Monsour, raising their salaries from $85,224.67 to $87,781.41.

If the aldermen wish to increase their salary more than 3 percent, he said after the meeting, “they’ll have to do it themselves. I don’t think it’s right for me to set their salary; they have to set their salary.”

Flaggs said, “I’m going to recommend, not for me, but that the office of the mayor’s salary go $20,000 above what it is now and be comparable to other cities.”

The move would increase the mayor’s salary from $106,520.12 to $126,520.12.

“The mayor of Clarksdale makes $122,000 and he ain’t got but 15,000 people,” Flaggs said.

“I’m going to do everything in one resolution on the 15th. We’re going to adopt the budget and set the salaries at the same time. I notified the aldermen of my intentions this morning,” he said Wednesday.

Tuesday’s budget hearing was the resumption of a Sept. 2 hearing Flaggs recessed because he had not had a chance to read the budget and declined to recommend its approval without reviewing it.

Tuesday, he said after working on the budget over the weekend with accounting director Doug Whittington he was confident with the results.

Looking at the budget, city officials anticipate $8.8 million in revenue from the city’s 35.88-mill property tax and $8 million in sales tax revenue with $3.93 million in gaming tax revenue.

Public safety — police, fire and ambulance service — takes up the largest amount of the city’s budget with $18.48 million; $13.9 million of that in salary and benefits, while general government, which includes administration, uses $8 million of the budget. Public works cost a total of $2.7 million.

“I think this is a great budget and I commend Doug for a great job on this budget,” Flaggs said. “I think this is a budget where we can meet our obligations and a budget where we can continue to provide high-quality service at the least cost to the taxpayer.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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