VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Alderman approved a $33.169 million fiscal 2023 budget for the city with a projected $12,000 surplus in funding.

The board approved and passed the budget with confidence at their last board meeting.

“I am absolutely excited about the budget. This is one of the most difficult conservative budgets that we have had to pass. We have been able to meet all the needs. We are able to show a lot of growth and revenue. I think we’ll be good. We’ll be just fine this year. What we need to do now is make sure we have more accountability from the division heads and then we can go forward. I think it’s a great blueprint for the future of Vicksburg. I think it’s the best budget that provides the highest quality service and the least cost to the taxpayers without raising taxes,” explained Mayor George Flaggs Jr.

The largest budget item is personnel, which is 64% of the budget. Medical, Social Security, and retirement must be provided for workers which is a large cost. The minimum wage has also been raised in the city to $9 an hour. Officials hope to raise that to $9.50 by April 1, 2023. The city has 415 employees.

“One of the things we had to do is rebound from COVID-19. After that, we had to make sure we structured a budget that represents a future and allows us to grow the city without raising anyone’s taxes. Out of my ten years in municipal government, being mayor of the city of Vicksburg, I would have to say this is one of the best budgets going forward. We’re seeing revenue growth, and we can still provide police protection and fire service, and I feel good about it. I’m confident that we can meet this budget and meet the challenges of the future,” said Flaggs.

The City of Vicksburg still has American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding available for use as well.

Flaggs said the city can focus less on relying on gaming tax income which acquired $5.5 million in fiscal 2022.