Saturday, March 23, 2019
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

As gaming taxes lag, town looks for $s

Changes to the Town of Tunica’s water and sewer rates may be on the way as officials consider how to make utilities self sufficient and make up for lost gaming revenue.

Hamp Beatty and Dr. Jason Barrett of Mississippi State University presented a water rate study to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on April 15.

Beatty said the town took in $789,649 in water and sewer fees for fiscal year 2013. Debt service affiliated with water and sewer system was $1,214, 499. The town faced a $424,338 cash deficit, which was made up by transfer from the general fund and a beginning cash balance.

“It’s basically a break even operation,” Beatty said.

Barrett then presented a breakdown of actual consumption and said only 10 percent of residents would be affected by dropping water and sewer minimums from 6,000 gallons to 4,000 gallons. Barrett said that “little changes could generate income” for the system.

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Questions fill county meeting

Tunica County officials are preparing to issue a Request for Proposals for health insurance coverage. The current policy with Cigna ends June 1, and changes in insurance coverage will likely impact over 360 employees plus a number of elected officials who participate in the county insurance plan.

Supervisors have been discussing various options for over a year and hired Nick Floyd as its agent of record on April 7.

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It's Rivergate Time!

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Officials, others scrutinize county’s past spending

While the Tunica County Board of Supervisors figures out how to pay the county’s current bills, some local citizens are digging through the county’s past for an understanding of its structure and finances.

Barbara Tuchel, member of Tunicans for Transparency in Government, and District 4 Supervisor Henry Nickson, Jr. are among those suspicious about past dealings of the county.  District 1 Supervisor James Dunn, who has been a board member for more than 30 years, said most major decisions have been and are still made with expert advice on hand.

Tuchel said members of her organization are curious about some component units of the county that are set up as nonprofits.  She said they are also seeking clarity about expenditures.

“The money isn’t coming in, and, to my understanding, it wasn’t handled properly in the past,” she said.

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