The Terre Haute City Council held a special meeting Thursday night to discuss the proposed 2018 budget.
It was the first opportunity for residents to give feedback on the proposed budget plan, which includes several cuts to help eliminate a more than $8 million deficit.
Resident Donald Hyde has lived in Terre Haute for 63 years. He asked council members to be considerate when making cuts.
“But above all, remember this little thing I’ve learned, and I think you’ve learned it too,” Hyde says. “Small things do matter, so always take that into consideration.”
Following public comment, the council and representatives from the city’s Department of Redevelopment discussed the budget for that department, which had previously loaned about $5 million to the city to help balance the annual budget.
A five-year budget plan presented to the council last week recommended suspending payment of that loan until June of next year to decrease the city’s deficit.
Council President Karrum Nasser says paying back the redevelopment loan is a concern.
“Personally I feel like redevelopment funds are meant to be a long-term solution to help our tax base,” Nasser says, “so that will be a discussion that we have to have with the mayor to see if we need to do it at all, or need to do it at the rate that he’s wanting to do that.”
Multiple other council members have also disagreed with the recommendation to delay that payment, stating they would prefer to pay back the loan sooner so the town can begin necessary developments, such as the installation of new streetlights in the downtown area.
The city council will hold another meeting to discuss the budget on Sept. 19. They will approve a final budget in November.