Ridgeland approves 2020 budget; no millage increase for 30th consecutive year

By NIKKI ROWELL,

The city of Ridgeland Mayor and board of aldermen have voted to approve a budget for fiscal year 2020 with approximately $24,262,925 in expenditures, which will include pay raises for several city officials and street overlay.

According to City Clerk Paula Tierce, the city is projecting approximately $22,144,205 for fiscal year 2020. The estimated beginning general fund balance is $16,347,142, and the estimated ending general fund balance is $14,026,422.

The millage rate will not increase for the approximately 30th consecutive year.

Mayor Gene McGee’s salary was increased by $1,702 for a total of $96,000. Salaries for Ridgeland aldermen increased by $2,300 for a total of $21,147, which is 22 percent of the mayor’s salary.

“It should be noted that neither the mayor or aldermen have received an increase since 2016,” Tierce said.

Last year, salary adjustments were made for officers with Ridgeland Police Department. The other half of those pay adjustments for police officers was budgeted for fiscal year 2020, which will be distributed based on job performance.

Firefighters are receiving a 3 percent salary increase, and full-time city employers are receiving a 2.5 percent increase.

One position for a maintenance worker for the Grounds Maintenance Division of Public Works was added.

Approximately $575,441 has been allotted for capital expenditures, which are one-time expenses.

Some of those include $1.2 million for street overlay; purchase of a K9 for the police department; six vehicles for the police department; and Air Life for the fire department’s Tritton.

The $1.2 million for street overlay is for the city to continue to monitor roads and mill and overlay as needed.

“It’s a very good budget,” Mayor McGee said. “Our department heads have worked very hard to be careful with expenditures. It’s going to leave us a nice fund balance. And we’re doing all of this without increasing taxes.”

Tierce added that the city typically estimates revenue conservatively and expenditures high in order to prevent department heads having to ask for budget amendments.

“Historically, there is approximately $1 million that were budgeted expenditures that were not spent,” Tierce said. “Also, the city will have a reserve that is 57.33 percent of the general fund balance, which is rare for any municipality.”

In other action, the board:

• Approved special event permits for the Renaissance Euro Fest, Ridgeland High School’s homecoming parade and the Madison County Chamber’s Dragon Boat Regatta;

• Denied a special event permit for the carnival at Northpark Mall;

• Approved a POD site security plan between the Mississippi Department of Health and the Ridgeland Police Department;

• Approved the Public Works term bids for the 2019-20 budget year;

• Approved a Waste Management recycling contract for Pear Orchard Apartments.

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