EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Budget hearing season has arrived and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke gave his proposal for the city’s 2023 budget in front of the city council, which exceeds $400 million. The increase from 2022 is because of some key factors:
- Fuel cost for the city – 50% increase unleaded ($2.30 to $3.46/gal), 41% increase diesel
- Health Insurance – 10% increase (national average)
- But mayor lloyd winnecke says many departments extra revenue can help offset that…
Mayor Winnecke says many departments’ revenue in 2022 can help offset those expenses. He said, “some of our funding is up a little bit, some of it is at or slightly above pre-Covid levels, some of it’s still below.”
Those increases in revenue include:
- Casino: 8% increase over 2022 to $11.4m
- Local Income Tax: 2% increase to $20m
- Public Safety: 2% increase to $5.6m
- Motor Vehicle: 4% increase to $4.8m
- Local Roads and Streets: 4% increase to $2.1m
- Food and Beverage Tax: 8% increase to $5m
One of the biggest needs in the proposal was improvements in the parks department. The bond proposed totaled more than $9 million which would go towards several projects including a chilling tower at Swonder, Four Freedoms Monument repairs, new slide and diving board at Hartke Pool, the demolition of Lloyd Pool, key zoo improvements, golf course cart push improvements, lighting at Goebel Soccer Championship field, and new restrooms at Goebel.
Interim Parks Department Director and Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer said, “if you don’t visit all of them, you don’t see and recognize what improvements need to be made.”
But some additions are up for debate on whether they are necessary.
“So $1.5 million dollars for pickleball [courts]. Yeah, I don’t know if that’s needed right at this second.”
Something the mayor says is necessary though are new positions, including three new code inspectors.
“We have a lot of mainly rental properties that have come under scrutiny for their safety and health status,” said Mayor Winnecke.
For current employees, several heads of departments, including the police and fire chiefs, are on the list to receive salary increases in 2023. Some of those around 20 percent.
“Some of those have been fairly healthy increases,” said the mayor. “But it’s meant to keep talent and it’s meant to be competitive with the private sector, just so we can keep people in place. I’m confident that a strong budget and effective budget for the city of Evansville will be passed.”
There will be several revisions before a finalized budget is voted on in November.
Additional Capital Budget Highlights:
- Central Dispatch
- New computer aided dispatch system
- Emergency Management Agency
- Storm siren upgrades
- Code Enforcement
- Rodent control
- Demolition of dangerous buildings
- Alley trash clean up
- Police Department
- Tasers and safety vests
- 2 new K-9 officers
- New police cars
- Portable radio replacements
- Body cameras
- Fire Department
- New Engine (Replace Engine 14)
- New AEDs and MCI/active shooter response kits
- Quartermaster system
- Fire station repairs
- City Engineer
- Storm water repair
- Eastside drainage project
- Walnut Street Connecter Phase 3