Olive Branch Mayor Ken Adams outlined the city’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year at Tuesday’s city council meeting held in the Olive Branch City Court building. In a public hearing, the mayor outlined what was in store for the city.
One of the highlights is a paving project, which Adams says will cost about $ 6.4 million.
“The 2022 paving project is an all-time high for the city of Olive Branch,” said Adams. “It’s the biggest paving project the city has ever done.”
The project is backed by $ 1 million in general revenue, government funding, tax diversion from the 2018 Infrastructure Modernization Fund, and a $ 5 million general obligation bond.
The budget would also include a 3 percent cost of living (COLA) adjustment for all employees, with the exception of part-time and seasonal workers.
“This is the first COLA customization in two and a half years for our urban team members,” said Adams.
Olive Branch police officers are also getting pay increases, Adams stated, “This will put our uniformed officers at the top of the pay scale for all law enforcement agencies in DeSoto County. This will help in recruiting and retaining our law enforcement professionals. ”
Adams said the city plans to hire 33 full-time and eight part-time workers in the next fiscal year, with 24 of the full-time entrants and three part-time workers specifically responsible for the city’s newly attached areas.
Six of these new employees are said to be uniformed police officers, along with six paramedics from the fire department.
The $ 9.5 million fund allocated to the city through COVID-19 Recovery Funds is earmarked for improving water and sanitation.
Olive branch owners will be pleased to know that the millage rates to be paid to run the city over the next fiscal year will remain the same; The city’s share of the property tax will not be increased.
At the budget hearing on Tuesday, no one spoke out for or against the budget proposal. City councils are due to vote on the proposal during the board meeting on September 7th. According to the law, a municipal budget for the next financial year must be in place by September 15, before the new financial year begins on October 1, 2021.
In another action on Tuesday, city councils approved an amendment to the City Loitering Ordinance, which effectively aims to remove basketball goals that are now roadside in residential areas. In this regard, concerns have been raised with the city about the goals and players blocking traffic in these areas.
“There is a section on obstruction of public roads,” said City Attorney Bryan Dye. “So that’s the link to the loitering order. This could have been in one of a couple of different areas, but the ordinance to hang around was probably the most logical place to put it. This is a response to contacts you received at the last meeting. ”
This includes walkways as well, as walkways are part of a public right of way.