Aldermen approve budget that includes 5% pay raise


RIDGELAND — The budget has been approved and the city will offer across-the-board raises to employees and will not raise taxes.

Mayor Gene F. McGee said he is pleased with the FY 2022 budget and is excited to see it put into effect after the city board unanimously approved the proposed budget in a 7-0 vote at Tuesday’s regularly held city board meeting. 

“I think our department heads put together a great budget and once again we will be passing a budget without an increase in taxes,” McGee said after the meeting. “I think this budget will do a lot of things our citizens deserve and need.” 

Raises will be a key feature of the FY 2022 budget. City employees are expected to receive a 5% raise.

This will make the fourth year of a five-year plan to offer raises to the Fire Department. Original discussions had featured a 3% raise for the department only.

Officials discussed raises for the mayor and aldermen. Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard declined his raise citing his status as a retiree from the state.

All board members will receive a $1,250 raise and McGee will receive a $2,500 raise. The mayor currently makes $96,000.06 and the aldermen make $21,147.36.

McGee called the raises, specifically the 5% increase for employees, “deserved.’

The board voted at the last meeting in August to levy tax millage at 11.27 for the general fund and 8.76 for the debt service fund and a total of 20.03 mills. McGee noted that is the same millage the board has levied for more than 30 years and has been a point of pride for his administration year after year.

The proposed FY2022 budget has estimated total revenues of $23,214,032 and estimated total expenditures of $25,763,538. The estimated general fund balance for the beginning of the fiscal year is $19,239,259 with an end-of-year balance at $16,689,753.

City Clerk Paula Tierce has noted that the initial estimates look like the city may have some deficit spending but noted that the revenue estimates are conservatively calculated and have traditionally been exceeded year in and year out.

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