PETAL, Miss. (WHLT) – Petal’s Public Works Department may be taken over by a private company to help the city get more bang for its buck.

Pine Belt News reported the Petal Board of Aldermen voted to start contract negotiations with Clearwater Solutions. The Auburn, Alabama company would take on the responsibilities of the Public Works Department.

Mayor Tony Ducker said the reason for wanting to privatize the department isn’t to save money, but to help the city get more done with the money it does spend.

He said one of the reasons for wanting to privatize is because it would take pressure off the city having to pay health insurance rates. Privatizing would also mean that employees would be paid more. He added that current department employees would have first dibs on the new jobs. However, he said the city will need to keep some positions.

Ducker said the next step is for the board’s attorney to put together a potential contract. He said the city wants the contract to include a way for the city to pull out of the agreement if the job isn’t getting done. The city would keep its equipment in case of that event.

According to the newspaper, the contract would last for five years and cost $1.4 million.