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City's utility bills might rise due to budget woes

GULFPORT — Gulfport residents will see a hike in monthly utility bills if the city council adopts the 2011 budget Mayor George Schloegel’s administration proposes.

The administration also wants to eliminate 65 positions Oct. 1, absorb public works and utility billing services previously handled through a contract with Southwest Water Co. and furlough employees for one week.

These cost-cutting measures would save an estimated $5.2 million and give the city a balanced budget for the first time since 2007. Revenue would exceed expenses by almost $376,000 in the general fund.

Council President Ricky Dombrowski tells The Sun Herald that he sees no way around the rate increases. Without them, he says the city water and sewer fund would be in the red.

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