Bloomington, Indiana – October 12, 2023
Last night, the Bloomington City Council gave the green light to the 2024 city budget, totaling $248 million, according to a press release from the City of Bloomington.
This financial plan allocates just over $131 million for the civil City, with an additional combined $98 million earmarked for Utilities, Transit, and the Housing Authority. Furthermore, the budget includes an extra $19 million in one-time appropriations sourced from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the former Community Revitalization and Enhancement District (CRED) funds. Excluding the one-time allocations, the 2024 budget represents a modest 1.4% increase over the 2023 budget, showing a nearly 1% decrease for the civil City and the three authorities. When considering the one-time appropriations, the overall increase from 2023 stands at an impressive 7.6%.
Mayor John Hamilton emphasized that the 2024 budget carries forward the city’s commitment to address pressing challenges, including the climate emergency, job creation, enhancing quality of life with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, expanding affordable housing, and addressing ongoing public health crises.
Over six months of collaborative engagement with the Council, Mayor Hamilton stressed that the 2024 budget sustains the momentum from 2023 and upholds the city’s commitment to being an employer of choice. The budget prioritizes public safety, makes crucial one-time investments, and bolsters the city’s continued recovery from the pandemic and economic recession.
Key components of the 2024 budget include:
- Investments in the city workforce, encompassing a 5% cost-of-living increase and a $500 recovery bonus for most non-union staff. Unionized staff will receive their negotiated rates. The budget also extends benefits by increasing pensions, health savings accounts, paid family leave, continuing-education tuition support, and health services, including support for out-of-state reproductive health care. Additionally, 32 new full-time-equivalent positions will be added.
- Investments in public safety, including salary increases for all sworn firefighters and probationary police officers. Planned investments in the new public safety headquarters in Showers West and three major fire facilities will be implemented.
- Nearly $20 million in one-time investments in infrastructure, encompassing additional funding for sidewalks, streets serving transit and bicycle routes, the federal Safe Streets for All program, traffic signal improvements, affordable housing, jobs, and sustainability initiatives, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging projects and programs, as well as public health initiatives.
Following the Council’s approval of the budget and personnel ordinances, Mayor Hamilton and Council members took a moment to recognize and honor City Controller Jeff Underwood. Underwood, who plans to retire at the end of the year, was commended for his 25 years of dedicated service to the city and for his instrumental role in developing and managing 14 annual city budgets. Throughout his tenure, Underwood has helped maintain the city’s fiscal health while facilitating unprecedented investments in the city’s future.
For more information about Bloomington’s 2024 budget, visit bloomington.in.gov/city/budget.