- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran says the city is in the early stages of looking at privatizing their public works department.

Moran tells WLOX-TV in Biloxi (https://bit.ly/1pHEtGu ) the move could save the city thousands of dollars.

“It’s something that our finance committee and several aldermen are very interested in looking at, but currently we don’t have any specific proposal. We are just in initial discussions, but the main thing is that we want to ensure our employees will not lose their jobs, but offer the opportunity to continue and still have a comparable retirement package,” Moran said.

Public works crews in Ocean Springs have various duties including servicing 8,000 water and sewer customers and 177 miles of streets within the city limits 24 hours a day.

City officials are mulling over the idea of using a private company to run the city’s public works while still keeping all their employees.

Moran said privatizing public works could save the city $125,000 to $200,000 just during the first year. The board of aldermen would ultimately have to approve privatizing.

The City of Gautier has hired Clear Water Solutions to handle its public works.

“I’ve talked to the mayor and several councilmen there in Gautier. They are very, very pleased with the results, as well as most of their employees that we know of,” said Moran.

The mayor says the city still has to get the facts and figures straight, as well as, study the advantages. She says there is no guarantee that they will follow through with privatizing public works.

“This is new ground for us. We’re just now learning how this process goes,” said Moran.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, https://www.wlox.com


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