The Herald Bulletin

September 12, 2013

City Council to begin debate on proposed 2014 budget tonight

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Mayor Kevin Smith will unveil a proposed $70.93 million fiscal 2014 budget to the City Council tonight.

The proposed spending plan will maintain public safety staffing at current levels and recall seven firefighters to active duty who were furloughed this year.

Concern about adequate public safety staffing dominated budget negotiations between the mayor and City Council last year.

The spending plan proposed for 2014 “is a good budget and part of a multiple-year strategy to regain our financial footing in Anderson,” Smith said on Wednesday. The City Council will meet at 7 p.m.

The city’s proposed general fund budget in 2014 would be $31.55 million, under Smith’s plan, about a $1.1 million increase over this year’s general fund budget of $30.46 million, said City Controller Jason Fenwick.

The general fund is Anderson’s main bank account that’s used to finance most of the city’s day-to-day operations.

According to Fenwick’s projections, the city will raise about $20.68 million in property taxes next year. Miscellaneous revenue will bring in $15.43 million, and a projected fund balance of $6 from this fiscal year will be included in the proposed 2014 budget.

Highlights of Smith’s proposal include:

u The purchase of a new fire engine and two ambulances for the Anderson Fire Deparment. In addition, money will be set aside to build a new fire station.

u Buying four new police cars and two motorcycles for the Anderson Police Department to provide better traffic enforcement.

u Additional money for street paving and road maintenance. Reinstatement of the so-called wheel tax will net the city about $1.1 million, Fenwick estimated.

“We’re right on schedule with the timeline established by the City Council to produce the budget,” Smith said. “We’re right on time and I feel very good about that.”

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