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$600K budget deficit, Ocean Springs closes jail, lays off jailers

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Officials say a Mississippi city facing a budget deficit of roughly $600,000 has decided to close its jail and lay off its jailers.

Ocean Springs aldermen voted last month to close its jail and send inmates to a county detention center. Aldermen say the city will be making cuts to balance next year’s budget in light of the roughly $600,000 deficit, and that includes laying off the city’s three jailers next month.

Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson says an increase in city payments to the state retirement system and additional health care costs have contributed to the deficit. Dobson says new body cameras for the city’s police also played a role. Alderman Mike Impey says the city’s revenue projections “didn’t quite live up” to initial expectations.