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COVID-19

Mayor ‘cautiously optimistic’ that layoffs will be unnecessary

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. speaking at June 15 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. (Photo via VTV video screen grab)

Vicksburg’s budget deficit due to COVID-19 restrictions may not be quite as bad as previously thought, allowing the city to avoid employee layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts.

During Monday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. noted that his cutoff for making personnel decisions due to the budget was June 15.

Previously, Flaggs had projected a shortfall of between $2.8 million and $3.2 million.

Monday, he lowered the shortfall projection to $2.2 million.

Flaggs also said he believes the federal government will come through to assist states and municipalities to address their shortfalls based on conversations he has had with Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, further pushing down the budget shortfall.

“Help is on the way,” he said.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we won’t have to have a massive layoff to be able to make these revenues up,” he added.

Flaggs said that at this time, he does not expect to have any layoffs or salary reductions; however much depends on revenue figures for May, which have yet to be determined. The city will also look closely at any position where an employee retires to determine whether it should be refilled.

“I hope that our employees will become more confident in their work and in their future,” Flaggs said.

This does not mean that the city will be able to operate the way it was before the COVID-19 crisis. One of the ways the city will cut costs is to look closely at every advertising and donation request.

“We will not be able to give you all of your requests or some of your requests,” Flaggs said.

Copyright © 2021 Vicksburg Daily News.

Vicksburg Daily News