VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A final budget is approved for one Wabash Valley county.
Tuesday evening, the Vigo County Council voted to approve a new version of the 2022 budget. But this did not come without some division among council members.
$71.5 million dollars was the original proposed budget for the 2022 calendar year. Initially, the council voted against this proposal with a close 4-to-3 vote.
After several hours of discussion, they eventually passed an amended version.
"Although it was a lengthy meeting, it was an educational [meeting] for everyone," Aaron Loudermilk, Vigo County Council president, said. "I think there was healthy discussion among council members."
The newly amended budget has everything the original budget had, except for one small change. The salary increase for county employees in the amended version is 4.75%. This is instead of the initial 5% raise in the proposal.
This newly adapted version saw a 6-to-1 vote by the council members.
But the budget discussions are not over yet. The council has decided to recess. This means that items on Tuesday's agenda can be discussed in further detail next week.
Council President Aaron Loudermilk says the main purpose of the recess is to focus on personnel salary raises and bonuses.
"I think everyone wants to give employees the greatest amount of raise that we can afford," he said. "I think personally, as one council member, we should look at a raise coupled with a bonus that the employees could see this year potentially at the end of November. We want to support the employees and help them."
Loudermilk says it is great to take a few days to reflect on Tuesday's meeting. The overall goal is to do what is best for taxpayers, employees, and the county as a whole.
"This recess allows us to step away from the meeting, take a breath, and go back and look at all of the information that we have before us now," he said. "We had information that was provided, some revised numbers, and this allows for the opportunity to review the information, review it, and come back with a fresh mind on Monday."
Council members will hold this recess next Monday at 3:00 pm at the Vigo County Annex.