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Coast city officials wrestle with $600K budget deficit

OCEAN SPRINGS — The city of Ocean Springs is looking at possible fee increase or reductions in spending to address a projected $600,000 deficit in next year’s budget.

The Mississippi Press reports City Clerk Shelly Ferguson outlined alternatives for the board of aldermen this week. The board asked Ferguson to come back in April with firm recommendations for it to consider.

Ferguson also suggested more control with purchase order requests, eliminating professional services that can be handled in house, cutting travel and conferences, fuel-saving options and a hiring freeze.

Alderman Matt McDonnell says the city’s only choices to cover the deficit may be from the emergency fund or a tax increase.

This year’s ending cash balances is predicted to be $300,000, down from $564,000 that was projected in September.

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