Last week, Bloomington City Council finished its preliminary budget hearings.
Council members heard initial budget requests from each department. As part of Mayor Hamilton's "Recover Forward" plan, each department has been asked to set aside part of its budget for the initiative, which will invest $8 million over 30 months to help the city recover from the pandemic.
The city is proposing a $95 million budget for 2021, which is about $4 million less than the 2020 budget.
Over the next month, city council members will ask questions and make recommendations, and then departments will submit their final requests September 30.
The council will cast their final vote for the budget in October.
The pandemic has caused some public officials to rework budget plans. Originally, Mayor Hamilton proposed a 0.5 percent tax increase to help fund sustainable initiatives. But he's scaled that back to a 0.25 percent increase as part of his 'Recover Forward' proposal.
Bloomington Transit was anticipating some of the funds raised through the tax would go to helping the city improve public transportation, but now leaders with Bloomington's public transit are unsure.
Funds for five officer positions in the Bloomington City Police will be reallocated to fund positions for social workers in the department.
This week, we're talking with city officials about the budget hearings last week and how the pandemic has affected priorities.
You can follow us on Twitter @NoonEdition or join us on the air by calling in at 812-855-0811 or toll-free at 1-877-285-9348. You can also send us questions for the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note-This week of our guests and hosts will participate remotely to avoid risk of spreading infection. Because of this we will not be able to take callers live on-air.
John Hamilton, Bloomington mayor
Matt Flaherty, Bloomington City Council, At-Large
Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Bloomington City Council, District 5
Jim Sims, Bloomington City Council At-Large