After postponing the annual budget hearing on Thursday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen met on Tuesday and agreed to a 2022 fiscal budget.
In the proposed budget, minimum wage increased from $8.50 to $9 per hour for city employees. The 3% pay raise for city employees was included within the budget, as well as the 5% increase for public safety employees. Each are set to go into effect October 6, 2021.
Those hired before October 6 are subject to a six-month employment safeguard before receiving the wage increase.
“I think this is a great budget,” stated Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. “I think, gentlemen, this is a budget that’s realistic. It’s a budget that we can meet our obligations and a budget we can continue to provide the highest quality of service at the least cost to the taxpayer.”
Flaggs went on to state there will be no increase in taxes or fees, citing an exception for a water or gas emergency, if needed.
“If something happens to the water or gas, we have no other choice,” explained Flaggs.
Vicksburg was touted to be in an excellent financial position. Local businesses are seeing an increase in revenue from 2019, before COVID-19 and restrictions impacted business owners.
“I was glad to see us use 2019 numbers, because today we heard that restaurants and tourism revenue is up almost 7% from the 2019 numbers, not 2020, which is COVID,” stated South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour. “Vicksburg is doing well. Really well.”
The board will meet on September 15 at 10 a.m. for budget adoption.