On October 12th, 2022, city councilmembers voted unanimously to approve the mayor's proposed budget for the 2023 year. Last year's Economic Development Local Income Tax (ED-LIT) rate increase helped to expand the city's combined budget to 228.5 million dollars, a 28 percent increase from last year's 178-million-dollar budget. Under the requirements of the ED-LIT additional funds were allocated to areas like city services and workforce investments, climate change preparedness and mitigation as well as equity and quality of life for all.
The biggest topic of discussion that night, however, was the five percent salary increase to American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) employees. Members of this labor union argued that this percent increase is not enough to meet higher costs of living. Negotiations between the city and AFSCME are still ongoing despite the budget's approval.
To read more about Mayor John Hamilton's 2023 proposed budget, click HERE.
At their Oct. 27 meeting, the Bloomington Council voted 9-0 to approve the nearly $107 million city budget for 2022.
Two weeks ago, the council had delayed action on the budget, citing the need to further negotiate with Mayor John Hamilton. Some councilmembers want to add a full-time climate action director who would oversee implementation of the city's climate action plan. Other councilmembers are concerned about the city's ability to recruit and retain Bloomington Police Department sworn officers, and want to increase officers' base pay.
However, the budget adopted on Oct. 27 was unchanged from the previous proposal. Rather, councilmembers approved the budget based on the expectations laid out in a press release from the administration. In it, the mayor proposed a quarterly retention bonus for BPD officers and further investment in staff to implement the climate action plan. None of those changes affected the 2022 budget. More information about the city's budget is available here.
At their Oct. 19 meeting, the Monroe County Council approved the county's 2022 budget. The roughly $87 million budget supports a range of services, including roads, public health, criminal justice and more.
Councilor Geoff McKim noted that the county's work "isn't very exciting but is absolutely essential to our quality of life here."
Watch their deliberations on CATS here. Read more about the county budget here.
At their Oct. 13 meeting, the Bloomington Council expressed frustration with the city's budget process and voted to recess their meeting until Oct. 27, in order to further negotiate with Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
Some councilmembers want to add a full-time climate action director who would oversee implementation of the city's climate action plan. Other councilmembers are concerned about the city's ability to recruit and retain Bloomington Police Department sworn officers, and want to increase officers' base pay.
The deadline to act on the budget is Nov. 2. After that, the 2021 tax levy is carried over automatically and the city would lose about $1.2 million in general fund revenues.
Watch the council's Oct. 13 meeting on CATS here.
At their Sept. 8 special meeting, the Bloomington Council passed a resolution urging the administration to increase the annual salary for Bloomington police officers by $5,000. The resolution passed 7-1-1, with Matt Flaherty voting against it and Kate Rosenbarger abstaining.
The resolution is non-binding, which means it doesn't force the administration to act. The administration opposed the resolution, saying it would interfere with the city's collective bargaining efforts with the police union. The current contract runs through 2022, but could be re-opened if both parties agree.
BPD has struggled to recruit and retain officers. The department is authorized to hire 105 officers, but currently has only 93 on staff. Of those, only 76 are available for duty, as others are on sick leave, military duty, or are being trained. The city is currently developing its 2022 budget. BPD has requested a $20 million budget, with $16.65 million for personnel.
Watch the council deliberations on CATS here. Read the resolution here.
The Bloomington Council held four nights of budget hearings from Aug. 23-26, with staff presentations and discussions about priorities for the city.
Each night focused on different areas. You can watch the presentations by following the links below to CATS recordings for each department.
The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the budget on Sept. 29, with final action on Oct. 13.
At their July 21 meeting, Bloomington Council heard a request from the administration to spend a portion of the total $22.1 million that the city will be receiving from the federal American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA). The request for a $3.35 million appropriation breaks down as follows:
Watch the presentation at the July 21 council meeting on CATS here. Read the staff memo here. The council will discuss the appropriation at their July 28 Committee of the Whole meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
The City of Bloomington has released survey results showing preferences for how to spend American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that the city is receiving.
Of the 147 responses, priorities were: 36% housing insecurity, 31% public infrastructure, 23% jobs/economic recovery, and 10% city revenue replacement. The choice of these "bucket" categories had already been determined by the city.
Read more about the survey here.
The Monroe County Council is holding its 2021 budget work sessions starting Tuesday, Sept. 8. Here’s the lineup:
TUESDAY 9/8 at 4 p.m.: Zoom link
Starts with public commentary from 4-5 p.m. Then overview, courts, probation, youth services, jail/correctional center, and sheriff.
WEDNESDAY 9/9 at 5 p.m.: Zoom link
Treasurer, prosecutor, recorder, extension services, assessor, aviation, clerk, planning, surveyor, parks & recreation.
THURSDAY 9/10 at 5 p.m.: Zoom link
Public defender, coroner, legal, weights & measures, veterans affairs, HR, emergency management, building commission, technical services, highway, board of commissioners.
FRIDAY 9/11 at 5 p.m.: Zoom link
Solid waste, fire protection district, county fair board, health, auditor, county council, central dispatch, local income tax review, final budget discussion.
Details about the Monroe County budget process are available at this website.
Bloomington Council is holding its 2021 budget hearings from Aug. 17 through Aug. 20. All sessions start at 6 p.m. Here’s the lineup:
MONDAY, 8/17: Zoom link
Overview, HR, Clerk, Legal, IT, Council, Controller, Mayor
TUESDAY 8/18: Zoom link
Fire and Police
WEDNESDAY 8/19: Zoom link
Public Transit, Housing Authority, HAND, Economic & Sustainable Development, Community & Family Resources, Parks & Rec
THURSDAY 8/20: Zoom link
Utilities, Planning & Transportation, Engineering (new department), Public Works (includes animal control, parking, street/traffic, etc.)
The 338-page budget book with more materials is posted here.