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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Council: New city budget has increased almost $23K

Bloomington City Council President Darryl Neher talks during the council meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

The 2015 budget for the City of Bloomington has increased by $22,978 since August 2013.

The Bloomington City Council met for a special session Tuesday night to discuss the city’s budget for next year.

Revenues for the city also increased by $35,051.

The projected surplus for the 2015 budget is $394,044.

Many salary increases were introduced, including a 2-percent increase for elected officials , a 1-percent increase for fire fighters , a 2-percent increase for the fire chief , a 1-percent increase for city union employees and a 2-percent increase for non-union city ?employees.

Dorris Sims , human resource director for Bloomington, said the city is currently negotiating with the police departments to ratify a salary increase.

The city saw a shortfall of $302,000 in 2014, according to corporation counsel Margie Rice. Perry township residents will see an increase in taxes to pay for the shortfall.

Rainy day funds also saw an increase, which make up 26 percent of the general fund.

A $578,270 decrease was made across 10 different funds in the budget, mostly in the parking facilities and parks general funds.

Information and Technology Services, Planning and Transportation, and the Utilities Department are hoping for budget increases by a total of $52,952.

The special session comes after four sessions in late August when city departments proposed their desired budgets to the city council. The special session was lengthier than the proposal meetings, when council members were not allowed to ask questions.

Some of the meeting’s questions were devoted to discussion of where money from parking meters is deposited.

Parking meter funds have been split between funding parking meters and enforcement, in order to pay for the services.

Council member Marty Spechler heavily questioned Mayor Mark Kruzan on what revenue from parking meters is used for.

“Well, it’s balanced only because we make adjustment in the revenue side and the expenditure side, so I don’t think it’s making the revenue that you might think,” Kurzan said.

He added that it will take three or four years to pay off the parking meters.

In the future, parking meter profits will fund other projects for downtown revitalization, he said.

Kruzan also predicted that changes made in workers’ hours and wages will cause a decrease in parking meter revenue, but more people living downtown in the future could cause an increase.

The city council will formally adopt the budget at its Oct. 8 meeting.

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