TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Terre Haute City Council met for round two of budget hearings for 2017. While members heard from several local departments in the course of a couple days, the council expressed their thoughts looking ahead.
The city’s overall financial health still remains a concern for the council. Councilman Neil Garrison gave insight following the end of Tuesday night’s meeting. He suggested the council look at areas of revenue, expenditures, reduction opportunities, combined services and look for ideas within other entities. This after he says Terre Haute continues to have one of the highest general fund deficits out of Indiana cities of similar size.
“I think, you know, if this council is going to be asked to approve a budget, which will probably be a deficit budget, we ought to ask for something in return,” he told the council, “So we can get something that’s frozen for three years, I think that’s something in the long term that would help us.”
On Monday, Mayor Duke Bennett said the current proposal would decrease the overall general fund of about $1.5 million. However, some council members still feel uneasy about the city’s finances.
“I have some discomfort with the results of those budget numbers,” said Councilman Earl Elliott, “We need a fairly significant surplus to begin to rebuild our cash balances. We’ve talked about that back in February, March of this year and I do not see that in the numbers that have been presented.”
A budget has not been adopted yet. The council will continue to meet, with the next meeting regarding the budget happening in October.