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Mayor Hamilton proposes a budget proposal for 2024



Bloomington, Indiana – In a meeting on Monday, Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton talked about his administration’s budget request for 2024, intentions to keep up city partnerships, and investments in personnel.

The proposed budget is about $131.2 million, up 1.4% from the previous year (excluding transit and utilities). The rise is due to an increase in local income tax revenue of 3.75% and a property tax revenue increase of 4%. Transit and utilities are included in the $229 million operating budget as a whole.

Investing in personnel, ensuring public safety, and allocating American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Community Revitalization Enhancement District (CRED) money are among the budget’s themes, according to Hamilton. In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ARPA is a U.S. federal law that aims to offer broad economic relief and support. The two CRED districts in Bloomington give the city the ability to collect sales and income taxes from new business investments in the area and use the money for economic development inside the district.

Most city employees would receive a $500 bonus under the budget. Should the budget be approved, many city employees would also experience a 5% salary raise as a cost-of-living adjustment in 2024. By the end of the year, the city also intends to open an employee health center.

According to Hamilton, the city can continue to hire sworn staff like armed law enforcement while also adding non-sworn public safety workers like social workers and community service specialists.

According to Hamilton, the budget’s programs place a strong emphasis on public safety. He said that a 911 review committee examined the city’s emergency call-handling procedures and made many recommendations. A pilot program for non-sworn officers to respond to some 911 calls is one of these suggestions. Welfare checks, according to Hamilton, are an example of the kind of calls that non-sworn public safety personnel would respond to.

Should the proposal be approved, Centerstone will also receive an additional $486,000 in funding for the Brighten B-Town initiative. The Bloomington Centerstone location provides housing services, children and family counseling, crisis and urgent care, and addiction and psychiatric treatment.

Five categories are proposed for the utilization of $20 million in ARPA and CRED funds: diversity, equity, and inclusion programs; infrastructure; affordable housing; workforce support; and public health. Additionally, $1 million would be given to an economic equity fund to help low-income households.

Hamilton reflected on previous budget suggestions made by his administration as the discussion came to a close.

“From the beginning, we had a huge focus on affordable housing, major investments in public safety and major investments in infrastructure and equipment,” Hamilton said. “I’m really pleased with the things we’ve done and give Controller Underwood credit too to help us make sure we are investing in the basics and advancing these fundamentals,” he said.

Monday was the first department budget hearing. Departmental budget hearings will go on as scheduled in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each day’s hearings will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the public and council members will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments. On September 27, the city council will hear the final budget plan; on October 11, the council will vote to adopt it.


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