Evansville City Council listens to 2022 budget proposals

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville could have some big changes coming in 2022. The Evansville City Council held their public budget hearing where representatives from city departments shared their prepared annual budget presentations.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke opened the hearing with a presentation including his long time goal to have Roberts Park become a reality. He would like to create a brand new park on the grounds where Roberts Stadium once stood.

The Executive Director of the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Garden laid out his wish list. He said they’re inspection is coming up in 2022 and there are many projects they need to put some work into, including a new roof on the Kley building and new radiograph technology – which would help them take better care of the animals on site rather than transferring them to other vets

Executive Director Erik Beck added, “absolutely we get as much done and really for us – inspection year is all the time. We’re always making these changes and improvements to our zoo in preparation not only for inspection but making sure these things are fixed and kept up year after year.”

Evansville Fire Chief Mike Connelly explained what his department needs for safety.

“We’ll be able to provide them the breathing apparatus cause I can’t breathe smoke, you can’t breathe smoke, but the firefighters can go into smoke wearing it. A new engine, our fleet continues to age and we continue to replace them one at a time. You have to have a stable platform to work off of to do emergency work,” said Connelly.

Connelly commented on the age of their stations – dating back to the 1950s. He said they need to make significant repairs considering previous work was basically just a band-aid.

Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer said planning next year’s budget had been somewhat tricky during a pandemic, but he added that Mayor Winnecke has put together a great plan.

The council has until November 1, 2021 to approve a budget.

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