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Mayor: Mississippi city tightens spending belt; saves $800K

August 23, 2019

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Columbus officials say the city was on its way into debt but has turned its finances around, saving about $805,000 since March.

The Commercial Dispatch reports Columbus Mayor Robert Smith told councilmen Monday that the city saved about $329,000 while adding $476,000 to unbudgeted revenue.

Accountant Mike Crowder in March told the city they’d be more than $300,000 in debt by September if spending continued.

Smith says several decisions helped the city save like freezes on hiring and wages, upping the employee health insurance deductible from $100 to $500 and opening the court clerk’s office on Fridays, which collected $26,206 in additional fees.

Smith says the city had $7 million in its coffers, including about $2 million in the operating funds. It’s unclear whether the fund will finish the fiscal year at a deficit.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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