The Bloomington City Council has given initial approval to budget proposals from eight municipal departments.
The individual projections are part of an overall city budget submitted by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan which would raise city expenditures by 2.4%, for an overall increase of more than $1.3 million.
According to City Controller Mike Trexler, all of the additional expenditures would go towards wage increases for city employees. Director of Employee Services Daniel Grundmann said nonunion workers would receive a 1.5% raise, while union employees would receive increases in line with their collective bargaining agreement.
Kruzan argued the raises represent a good balance between fairness and fiscal responsibility.
“There are people who are having to sacrifice and suffer in both the public and private sector when it comes to wages,” Kruzan said. “So while it’s not the wage increase we would prefer it to be, we think it strikes a good balance between rewarding the employees who make the city work and being cognizant of the fact that we’re in some tough economic times.”
Seven of the eight proposals passed without issue. The sole dissenting vote was in reference to the proposal from the Bloomington Common Council; the department composed of the City Council and the Office of the City Clerk.
Further budget hearings will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. The meetings are open to the public and begin at 6 p.m.