City budget blues at Thursday night's Terre Haute City Council meeting was supposed to just cover raises for police and firefighters. But, it snowballed into a larger discussion about where the city's largest fund is headed.
The City Council and the mayor will spend the next few months finalizing the city budget for next year, but Thursday they wanted to take care of the budget for public safety; mainly the 2.5% raises due to both policemen and firemen.
However, as the meeting started the city council's independent financial consultant Earl Elliott revealed his findings on the general fund.
The high point of his report was that he believed the city's fund that pays for public safety, the general fund, is falling into deeper debt. Councilman Neil Garrison echoed those feelings as well.
"I think our concern in the last two or three years, several of us were worried that our debt continues to grow and I think a lot of us would like to see that controlled," Garrison said.
However, Mayor Duke Bennett explained the city has been told by the state that next year's raises for police and fire will be "fundable."
"Within 3 to 4 years, we'll be able to get a completely whole and balanced and pay off our tax anticipation warrant so we just have to extend it out a little bit because of a huge drop in assessed value," Bennett explained on the future of the city's General Fund.
The city council had been concerned about giving police and fire a raise and not giving one to other city hall workers.
But the mayor said they will be looking at raises for all Terre Haute city workers.
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