The Herald Bulletin

September 20, 2013

Anderson City budget remains in limbo

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. —

City officials are proceeding with deliberations on the city's proposed 2014 budget, but still don't know whether it will be approved by the Department of Local Government Finance.

Ongoing discussions with DLGF officials have been inconclusive and may remain that way for some months, City Controller Jason Fenwick told members of the city council at a special budget review on Thursday.

In the worst-case scenario, Anderson's proposed general fund budget for 2014 of $31.55 million may be the same as 2013. The state-approved general fund budget for this year is $30.46 million. 

"We are proceeding with a great deal of caution because of the real likelihood that Anderson might have to revert to 2013," Mayor Kevin Smith said.

The proposed budget was thrown into question during last Thursday's regular city council meeting when members tabled consideration of the budget ordinance, delayed a scheduled public hearing, and then failed to set another hearing during the meeting.

A new public hearing date of Sept. 26 was set the following day, Friday, and published as a legal advertisement in The Herald Bulletin the day after that.

According to Indiana law, however, proposed budgets and property tax levies for cities, towns, and townships must be advertised before Sept. 14, and again before Sept. 21, of each year. Anderson initially met that requirement, but city council apparently violated the law by its actions.

The council delayed consideration of the budget because council President David Eicks, D-At Large, was concerned primarily about proposed public safety spending next year. He also wanted to review other aspects of the Smith administration's budget.

The council conducted those additional reviews Thursday and Friday.

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