A nearly $90 million dollar city budget for Terre Haute passed unanimously Thursday, but one councilman was able to cut nearly $300,000 additional dollars from the proposal.
It’s money that will hopefully put the city in a better financial state than before.
It takes a lot of money to run a city and as the mayor said Thursday night, this is the third year that the city of Terre Haute has passed a balanced budget.
But this year, it happened while the city was trying to get rid of an $8 million dollar deficit required by the state.
“We’re continuing to make some progress in addressing our financial challenges,” says Councilman Earl Elliot.
After Earl Elliot proposed more than $500 thousand dollars in additional cuts, the city administration and the council finally agreed on fundable and passable budget.
“I would prefer more of a surplus in the general fund,” says Councilman Elliot.
There is a surplus nonetheless.
“It should be about $150,000-$200,000,” says Elliot.
“We’re doing as much belt-tightening as we can and still trying to deliver the high level of services to the people in this community so I feel really good about this budget,” says Mayor Duke Bennett.
The other simmering issue is related to the Terre Haute Waste Water Treatment Plant improvements.
It’s a second phase plan ordered by the court.
“We need to solve this problem ourselves,” says Bennett. “We don’t have to raise sewer rates to pay for it. So, you know, we’ll get there.”
That project, is a nearly $70 million dollar clean up plan to rid the area of contaminated grounds, while also relocating a main lift station and sewers.
“When we were told back last year that the project was going to only be $42 million, and we’re getting told that the project is going to be double that amount…there’s going to be a lot of scrutiny,” says City Council President Karrum Nasser.
The council accepted Eddie Felling’s request for a tabling on this issue.
One the council will fully discuss next month.
“They do understand that they have a lot of explaining to do,” says Nasser.
Discussion on this Waste Water Treatment Plant improvements will take place at the November sunshine meeting.
That will be held at City Hall, on November 2nd.
The council also plans to discuss the future of two city golf courses next month.
Members decided to not press the issue until more studies and plans can be done.