Millington faces tough budget issues - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Millington faces tough budget issues

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(WMC-TV) - Memphis and Shelby County are not the only areas facing budget issues and proposed cuts. The City of Millington is facing similar problems. In fact, council members met Thursday to trim the fat from next year's budget. That trimming includes the elimination of police officers, firefighters, and a property tax increase.

"There's two things we know, just like Memphis, there's gonna be layoffs and there's gonna be a tax increase," said Millington Vice Mayor Chris Ford.

Vice Mayor Ford is one of the most senior members of the city's board. He says he has never seen the city's finances in such shambles.

"Have we made all the cuts we can make? Are we making the right layoffs? Does the tax increase really need to be 41 cents or can it be something else?" he wondered.

On the table is the elimination of 18 jobs and a property tax hike.

Ford says one-third of those job cuts could come from the city's police and fire departments.

From the police department, it would include the loss of one police inspector, three patrolmen, and one dispatcher. It would also cut the fire chief's job and a longtime fire inspector's job.

"We're annexing Lucy," added Ford. "Our borders in Millington are getting bigger but we're decreasing personnel. What are we able to give up? I'm not willing to do it in fire and safety."

Signs all over Millington encourage residents to vote for a municipal school district July 16, saying the city can afford it.

Ford says the money for that school system comes from a half-cent sales tax increase and not from the proposed property tax increase. He says the two are completely different.

"I do think some cuts are necessary," he continued. "I think some departments are too large and fundamentally we can consolidate some departments."

Ford says he is pushing for a 30-day extension on the passage of the city's final budget. But as of now, the third and final reading is set to take place next Thursday at Millington City Hall.

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