Aldermen agreed this month to impose a temporary, across-the-board salary reduction in order to meet the city's cash flow needs until tax collections come in after the first of the year.
Mayor Joe Eaton said the 10 percent amount will save the city between $37,000 and $40,000 per month. He did not say how long the cut would stay in effect.
"We've been dealing with budget cuts ever since we took office," said the mayor, whose term began in the summer. "We've had some employees who left their jobs voluntarily and we haven't replaced them, and we've been putting cost-cutting measures in place through the summer and into fall."
The salary reduction took effect with the pay period beginning Dec. 21, and will be reflected in the first paycheck of the new year.
In addition to savings from the salary decreases, the city has borrowed $50,000 from the city gas department and $50,000 from the city water and sewer department until early next year.
"Some businesses are delaying their tax payments until after the first of the year because they have that option," Eaton said. "Our situation is worsened because we lost two car dealerships earlier this year and the tax on new car sales as well as a couple of industries, and we're beginning to feel the effects of all that."
Eaton noted that at a city clerks conference last week other cities were reporting four-day work weeks for their employees as well as layoffs.
"We didn't want to lay anyone off," he said. "We have good employees and we want them to know how much we appreciate them."
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.