City revising budget

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 2, 2009

NATCHEZ — City officials requested that department heads cut between 2 and 5 percent of their budgets.

If the $13.45 million general fund budget can be cut by 5 percent, it would save $670,000.

“If we could do that we’d be in good shape,” City Clerk Donnie Holloway said.

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The fiscal year began Oct. 1, and through Jan. 31, the total general fund expenditures were $6,743,700.

The city’s request for department heads to make budget cuts is part of a six-month budget review, Holloway said.

Mayor Jake Middleton said having a mid-year review of the budget is pertinent.

“It does two things,” he said. “It gives me and the board of aldermen an idea where each department is, and it also makes (department heads) look at their budget.”

Holloway and Middleton said the budget cut request is not a mandate, and it will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

“You have some departments that don’t have any place to cut, because it’s salaries,” Holloway said, referencing small-staffed departments like community development director and the grants coordinator.

“They don’t have any fat in there.”

Middleton said it’s more like an opportunity to just look at the budget and make sure everything is in line, and if cuts need to be made down the road, department heads will know the areas in which they can or cannot cut.

“It’s something that you need to look at and be aware of,” he said.

Holloway said the department head budget revisions are due back April 6.

The following week, he said the board of aldermen will meet with each department head and discussion any revisions.

Holloway said he would like to wait until after the January sales tax revenue report is released, which will be April 15.

Middleton said the city always conducts a mid-year budget review.