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Budget proposal: 86 new police officers, $120M for streets

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett will introduce his 2018 budget Monday night to the City County Council.

Hogsett’s staff said the budget will focus on public safety and infrastructure.

The budget would fund 86 new IMPD beat officers, according to the mayor.

The mayor’s plan also calls for the city to spend $120 million on infrastructure in 2018. Hogsett said that money will help improve streets, sidewalks, traffic flow and bridges.

Hogsett’s staff said they’ve saved millions by cutting unnecessary jobs and revamping the city’s government.

City leaders also said they’re seeing an increase in property taxes, not from any tax hike, but from an increase in property values.

The mayor’s team said they are expecting millions more in stormwater fees because of an increase passed under the Ballard administration.

Those are just a couple ways city leaders said revenue is increasing.

The mayor’s city controller, Fady Qaddoura, helped create the proposed budget.

“The strategy was: We need to hold the line on spending, smart-sized organization, find innovative ways to help us organize savings that we can invest in a meaningful way,” Qaddoura said.

Qaddoura said the budget will create a $211,000 surplus if council passes the plan.

Republican Councillor and Minority Leader Mike McQuillen said the council will go through the budget with a “fine-tooth comb.”

“If [a surplus] is a possibility, that’s great. But we need to make sure we fully fund all of our obligations and have a priority on public safety before we find out if that can happen or not,” McQuillen said.

The budget will be discussed at a series of committee meetings and public hearings before council votes on the plan.

Hogsett’s staff is calling it the city’s “first honestly balanced budget since 2008.”

Click here for a schedule of budget hearings of the City-County Council.

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