Coun­cil passes $68.5M bud­get

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Craig Lyons Post-Tri­bune

The Ham­mond Com­mon Coun­cil on Mon­day passed a $68.5 mil­lion 2019 bud­get.

Ham­mond Con­troller Heather Garay said it is a less than 1 per­cent in­crease over the 2018 bud­get. The bud­get was ap­proved by an 8-1 vote, with Coun­cil­man Mark Kal­win­ski, D-1st, cast­ing the only dis­sent­ing vote.

Kal­win­ski said he ob­jected to money be­ing taken from the coun­cil dis­tricts’ gam­ing funds for city­wide in­fra­struc­ture projects.

“It’s prob­a­bly the most asked from the dis­tricts,” Kal­win­ski said.

Garay said the city tried to cut as much as pos­si­ble, mostly from sup­ply lines, to not cause a large in­crease. She said much of the in­crease is at­trib­uted to per­son­nel ex­penses.

The bud­get in­cludes 2 per­cent raises for all em­ploy­ees, ex­cept those whose salaries are set by state statute or cov­ered by col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ments.

Along with the main bud­get, the coun­cil ap­proved the Ham­mond Sani- tary Dis­trict bud­get. The to­tal $14 mil­lion pack­age in­cludes roughly $5 mil­lion in the gen­eral bud­get, $5.5 mil­lion in debt ser­vice and $3.3 mil­lion in cir­cuit­breaker ex­empt debt ser­vice.

“It re­ally isn’t a whole lot of change,” said Marty Wiel­gos, Ham­mond San­i­tary Dis­trict man­ager.

The coun­cil also ap­proved a $398,068 bud­get for Ham­mond re­de­vel­op­ment.

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