South Bend Common Council passes 2014 budget - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Common Council passes 2014 budget

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South Bend's 2014 budget has gotten the stamp of approval and just in time too.

Councilmembers had to legally approve a budget by the end of October.

After months of discussion and 18 meetings, they did that Wednesday.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg says, "I think this is a good budget. We didn't get everything we wanted, but I think this is a positive step forward for South Bend."

It'll cost $343.3 million to run the city of South Bend for 2014.

Eleven million will go towards Mayor Pete Buttigieg's Smart Streets initiative, something that's created a lot of discussion over the past few months.

"This is a moment in the trajectory of this city. It's the right time to step on the gas, not hit the brakes. And I'm glad that's what happened when it came to Smart Streets," says Buttigieg.

With the approval of funding for the program, the Mayor lost a little when it came to salaries. The Council voted for a 7% increase for appointed officials across the board, with the exception of a handful of positions.

The Mayor was hoping for more.

"A majority of the council thought some of those raises were too much. A seven percent raise is very good," says Council President Derek Dieter.

Also in the budget, funding for wells for residents dealing with flooding near the former ethanol plant, funding for curbs and sidewalks and also for extra street lighting.

Councilwoman Karen White said, this is the first time the administration has truly considered the priorities of the council when amended the budget.

The Council President and the Mayor agree, both parties worked well together.

"They were very good when we asked for information. They got us the information, we digest, you can see this Council, they ask a lot of questions and I think we got to the point where I think everyone's leaving here happy," says Dieter.

Buttigieg says, "This isn't Washington, we can get stuff done and we had a chance to show that today. "

Not everyone was happy with the budget. The final vote was 8-1 with Councilwoman Valerie Schey giving the only "no" vote.

She says too much money was going into the Smarts Streets initiative at this time.

She offered an amendment to remove $4.5 million from the budget, but that motion failed.

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