Natchez on pace to hit budget predictions

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 30, 2001

With three-quarters of the fiscal year under its belt, the City of Natchez is right on target with projections, said City Clerk Donnie Holloway.

&uot;We’re in pretty good shape,&uot; Holloway told aldermen last week giving an update on city finances through June 30 – which is the 75-percent mark of the fiscal year which ends Sept. 30.

Holloway reported the city has taken in $8.125 million or 79.39 percent of the budgeted amount of $10.234 million.

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&uot;That’s right where you want to be, ahead of budget,&uot; Holloway said, adding that sales tax revenues have continued to be better than expected.

&uot;I think that’s nothing but good news,&uot; said Natchez Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith. &uot;Our sales tax revenues are good. Unlike a lot of other municipalities in our state, Natchez continues to see some growth.&uot;

Sales tax revenues through June were at $3.55 million. That figure is 76.4 percent of the budgeted $4.64 million.

On the expense side of the balance sheet, the city’s doing well, too, Holloway said.

&uot;On expenses, we’ve spent 74 percent of budget,&uot; he said.

That means of the $10.5 million budgeted for the entire year, the city has spent $7.78 million.

Through June both the police and fire departments – the two departments largest departments with a combined budget of more than $4.5 million – were below budget. The police administration has spent 73.5 percent of budget; fire administration has spent 73.8 percent.

The news comes as especially good for Smith, who asked city department heads to tighten their financial belts and try to watch expenses.

&uot;I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to hold down the expense side of things,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m optimistic that we’re going to finish up ahead if nothing drastic changes.&uot;