Desoto County News

Wicker details Hernando budget highlights

A Hernando city alderman has offered details on the new city budget that was approved by the Board of Aldermen at its Tuesday night meeting.  

Ward 4 Alderman Chad Wicker provided the details in a news release, using his letterhead, which was received Wednesday afternoon.  Wicker calls the budget approval “a significant milestone in our commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our residents, supporting our valued city employees, and ensuring fiscal responsibility. The approved budget reflects a strategic approach to investment and sustainability while focusing on maintaining low taxes and safe neighborhoods.”

Here are the highlights of the approved budget, approved in an unanimous vote Tuesday night, as provided by Alderman Wicker:   

Four Percent Pay Increase for All City Employees: In recognition of the hard work and  dedication of our city employees, the budget allocates resources for a 4% pay increase for all  municipal workers. This pay raise not only rewards their tireless efforts but also ensures that  Hernando retains top talent in public service. 

Investment in Infrastructure: With a commitment to improving our city’s infrastructure, an allocation of $3.3 million has been earmarked for street repairs. These investments will enhance transportation, promote safety, and beautify our community. 

Parks and Recreation Enhancement: Our dedication to providing recreational opportunities for residents is evident in the allocation of funds to finally make improvements to the Hernando Civic Center baseball fields. A $6.7 million bond will be used to fund the improvements. This investment will revitalize our baseball complex and be the first phase of a master plan to build out Renasant Park. 

Emergency Services Strengthening: The City of Hernando is proud to announce in this budget, the addition of a third ambulance to the Fire Department, enhancing our emergency response capabilities. This improvement will ensure timely assistance during critical situations. 

Increased Police Presence: In an effort to maintain public safety and uphold the highest standards of law enforcement, an additional police officer will be deployed to our streets,  contributing to a safer community for all. This is the eighth police officer added since this board has taken office.  

Rainy Day Fund Establishment: Demonstrating our commitment to fiscal responsibility, the City of Hernando is proud to announce the establishment of a rainy day fund exceeding $1 million. This fund will serve as a financial safety net for unexpected emergencies or economic downturns, ensuring stability and resilience in times of need. 

No tax increase: Expressing our conservative values, this board is proud to announce that this budget was approved without a tax increase. The current millage rate of 40.76  has remained unchanged since 2017.

“I am delighted to announce these investments in our city’s future,” Wicker said. “The 2023-2024 budget reflects the board’s unwavering commitment to our residents and city employees. We are  determined to provide essential services, maintain a high quality of life, and manage our finances  responsibly, all while keeping the burden off our taxpayers. I want to thank our department  heads, Mayor Johnson, and City Clerk Pam Pyle for their work on this budget.”

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