Kokomo city officials are defending a plan to spend $300,000 on historic preservation projects in the city’s 2013 budget, even as city employees go without raises for another year.
Second District city councilman Bob Cameron says he believes improving the look of buildings in the community matters more to his constituents than upping city salaries.
“We have stayed this way for the past several years,” he says. “We are going to stand on our own and not have any increases. The main thing is keeping what they want. I think the people are still pretty happy about maintaining their benefits which is so important this economy.”
Mayor Greg Goodnight concurs, saying the city has absorbed rising healthcare costs and a state mandate to increase retirement account contributions for public employees.
“There may be people that wish we put all their money into individual employee’s pockets but I don’t think that’s the best investment for our city,” he says.
The Environmental Protection Agency will also kick in half-a-million dollars for the city to use shoring up some of its aging buildings, including an historic railroad depot in the city’s downtown.