News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 11, 2012

City’s 2013 budget up for review tonight

Questions remain about whether there will be a general fund deficit

TERRE HAUTE — The city’s 2013 budget is set for public review tonight in City Hall, but some important details in the budget remain unknown.

The size of the proposed budget is about $72 million. City officials expect to trim that to a smaller figure by the time the budget is actually passed by the nine-member council later this month, said Leslie Ellis, city controller in an interview Tuesday in City Hall.

The city’s “general fund,” which pays for the day-to-day expenses of running the city, is expected to be about $32 million when the council considers its passage, she said.

The city started 2012 with a general fund deficit of about $4.5 million, according to figures compiled by H.J. Umbaugh and Associates of Indianapolis, an accounting and consulting firm.

Whether there will be a general fund deficit in the 2013 budget remained unclear as of Wednesday.

“It all depends on what options the [City Council] will support,” Ellis wrote in an email response to the Tribune-Star.

“If [the council members] decide to not support enough options, we will be forced to make deeper cuts in order to not have a deficit,” she stated. “Those cuts would then be made throughout 2013 in order to make the budget work.

“We can better answer this question on Oct. 29,” when the council votes on the 2013 budget, Ellis wrote.

Many of those “options” for eliminating the general fund deficit are being discussed in private meetings between council members and administration officials, including Mayor Duke Bennett, Ellis and Scott Walker, a financial consultant for the city.

So far, administration officials publicly have only floated the option of a solid waste disposal fee to help balance the budget. That would need council approval, which may be difficult to find.

“We already pay taxes for trash removal,” said council President Don Morris, reached by telephone Wednesday. Morris also expressed frustration at not receiving a revised budget after last week’s public budget meeting with Bennett and Ellis. There were some “typos” and other errors in that version of the budget, he noted.

“It’s a little frustrating,” Morris said. “Here we are a day before the meeting” and no revisions have been provided, Morris said. “It’s quite a bit of information to digest.”

Other “options” being discussed with members of the council in private meetings have included using Economic Development Income Taxes (EDIT) and the “rainy day” fund to address the general fund deficit, council members have said.

“Just because the general fund is in deficit, that doesn’t necessarily mean things are bad,” said Councilman Norm Loudermilk, D-3rd. He said the administration is also considering opening a city employee health clinic, which could generate up to $500,000 in annual savings. Administration officials also are considering charging city-owned utilities, such as the wastewater utility, a “payment in lieu of taxes” to help cover city services provided to the utility, he said.

The deficit can be addressed in phases over the next couple of years, Loudermilk said.

When reached Wednesday by the Tribune-Star, several members of the council expressed frustration about a lack of specific information about the budget, now just weeks from a vote. That concern was echoed by John Hilderbrand, executive director of the Taxpayers Association of Vigo County.

“The city has not provided any solid information relative to the budget,” Hilderbrand told the Tribune-Star. He plans to ask administration officials tonight for their revenue and expense forecasts for 2013.

One new expense in the 2013 budget is already known: a 2-percent salary increase for the approximately 550 city employees, at a cost of roughly $1 million. Salary and benefit expenses make up at least 80 percent of the city’s budget, Ellis said. The city’s trash removal contract with Republic Services is set to cost $2.6 million in 2013, she said.

Copies of the 2013 budget will be posted on the city’s website, www.terrehaute.in.gov, only after it is approved by the Department of Local Government Finance in Indianapolis, Ellis said. DLGF approval is not expected until about February, she said. Until then, a copy is available for review in the City Controller’s office in City Hall, Ellis said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET070914 house exterior.jpg Historic Ohio Boulevard house inspired by 1948 Cary Grant movie

    Spurred in 1948 by a newly released movie staring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, coupled with a growing post-World War II housing market, General Electric partnered with Hollywood’s RKO Studios to build “dream homes” throughout the country.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • Detour ahead

    A panel of public and private officials is calling for $10 billion in projects to upgrade Indiana’s aging roads and bridges, but its members concede there’s no money to pay for it all.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 barrels.jpg MARK BENNETT: Making road work a barrel of fun for drivers

    We’re lucky orange barrels can’t talk.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • City Council to take up city finances tonight

    The Terre Haute City Council will have a chance in a special meeting tonight to delve deeply into the city’s financial health. However, council members are being asked to avoid raising the most controversial subject of recent weeks: The city’s use of Redevelopment Commission tax increment finance (TIF) money.

    July 9, 2014

  • Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

    Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement with Indiana’s ethics watchdog in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in the grade-change scandal that cost him his job as Florida’s schools chief last year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vermillion Jail trusties face new charges

    Two former inmate trusties at the Vermillion County Jail face new criminal charges after a recently discovered security breach at the jail.

    July 9, 2014

  • Lawrence police acquire armored military vehicle

    A central Indiana city has acquired an armored military vehicle for use in highly dangerous situations.

    July 9, 2014

  • Free carwash for law enforcement

    Mike’s Carwash locations in Central Indiana, including Terre Haute, will honor the sacrifice of IMPD Officer Perry Renn and thank all those who serve and protect our communities with a free carwash for police and emergency personnel today and Friday.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana agencies told to ignore gay marriages

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s office is telling state agencies act as if no gay marriages had been performed during three days following a federal court order.

    July 9, 2014

  • State reports West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials confirmed the first signs of West Nile virus activity in Indiana for 2014. Mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. There have been no reported cases of West Nile virus in humans in the state this year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana education board faces contentious meeting

    Indiana’s State Board of Education is gearing up for another showdown between Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s appointees and staff.
    The board is set to consider a pair of resolutions dealing with control of the board during a meeting Wednesday.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 9, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on jail records.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana getting $849,000 for outdoor projects

    Indiana is receiving $849,000 to use toward outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

    July 9, 2014

  • Semi fire halts I-70 traffic in Putnam County

    A fire in a semi tractor-trailer temporarily closed eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Putnam County on Tuesday evening.

    July 9, 2014

  • I&M proposes five solar facilities in two states

    Indiana Michigan Power plans to seek permission to build five solar generating facilities in the two states it serves.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 voice four.jpg Hitting a high note

    A 17-year-old from Casey, Ill., won “The Voice of the Valley” Tuesday night, singing and shaking his hips and legs to an Elvis Presley song, then wooing the grandstand audience at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds with a country tune.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070814 STORM STAUNTON.jpg Clay County residents clean up debris, get power back

    Several power outages still affected hundreds of Duke Energy customers on Tuesday, more than 24 hours after storms and strong winds swept through west-central Indiana, leaving a swath of damage in the Staunton, Brazil and Center Point areas.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 052106 EVANBAYH ADDRESS.jpg Return to Indiana?

    Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Planning under way for 2014 Downtown Block Party

    Wabash Avenue will be full of activity Aug. 23 as the 2014 Downtown Terre Haute Block Party takes over five city blocks in a celebration of music, food and events.

    July 8, 2014

  • MET 070814 CATHOLIC WARE.jpg Guys give food bank a lift

    A $14,000 donation Tuesday from Guys Who Give enables Catholic Charities to be at nearly 75 percent of its $2.5 million goal to purchase and operate a new, larger food bank near Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

    July 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • wilson,robert.jpg ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A man sought by the Vermillion County Sheriff's Department has been nabbed by police in Indianapolis.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • eBus brings financial empowerment to town

    A 40-foot long mobile classroom is scheduled to roll  into Terre Haute today, carrying what its sponsors call “financial empowerment.”

    July 8, 2014

  • Elderly woman accused of killing 89-year-old husband

    An 83-year-old woman, described as "a loose cannon" by her landlord, has been arrested in this Buffalo suburb for beating her 89-year-old husband to death.

    July 8, 2014

  • wilson,robert.jpg BREAKING: ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A suspect police considered “armed and dangerous” is now in custody in Marion County.
    Robert Wilson is facing local charges there and has a hold on him for Vermillion County, according to Vermillion County Sheriff Robert J. Spence.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 051713 BAYH SMILE.jpg Former governor Bayh weighs decision to run again

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.
    Party loyalists longing for a political savior to retake the governor's office have been waiting on Bayh ever since he abruptly decided to leave the U.S. Senate and political life three years ago.

    July 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 8, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.

    July 8, 2014

  • Update: Silver Alert for Lawrence man canceled

    The city of Lawrence Police Department has canceled a Silver Alert issued earlier this morning.

    July 8, 2014

  • Thomas to resign as Indiana’s inspector general

    The only person to serve as Indiana’s top ethics watchdog since the position of inspector general was created in 2005 is planning to leave.

    July 8, 2014

  • Indiana 42 road washout.jpg Photo update: Indiana 42 washed out in Clay County

    A state highway in western Indiana has been closed after heavy rains washed out part of the roadway.

    July 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070714 CULVER PHOTO.jpg Maker of history

    A humble man with a heart for helping others is an apt description for Terre Haute resident Curtis B. Culver.
    Culver died July 2 at age 94, leaving behind a legacy of missionary work and social involvement.

    July 7, 2014 3 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Raw: Stampede in Rio During World Cup Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Track Owners Fight to End Greyhound Racing Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Mississippi River Flooding Likely to Slow Down Germany Crushes Brazil in 7-1 Win at World Cup Cleveland Picked to Host 2016 GOP Convention Raw: Palestinians Clash With Israeli Forces Man Finds Venomous Snake in Toilet Raw: Panic in Tel Aviv As Siren Warns of Attack Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway Today in History for July 9th Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York
NDN Video
Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter Joan Rivers Storms Out of Interview Watch: A turtle and dog play ball Yikes! This Jet is Way Too Close Late-Night Highlight: Ben Falcone Screwed Up His Proposal To Melissa McCarthy Jenny and Sherri Talk "View" Departure
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity