Council Unanimously Approves 2023 City Budget

Posted Friday, October 14, 2022.

HUNTINGTON – The Huntington City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday evening to approve a 2023 City Budget leveraging a strong financial position to invest in public safety, infrastructure and the City workforce.

Council President Charles Chapman said, “I was happy to vote for a balanced budget that reinforces our commitment to public safety while providing city services that everyone expects.”

The 2023 budget places public safety as a high priority, adding two firefighter positions in 2023 while funding the Police Department to hire additional officers and operate at full staffing.

The budget also supports roadway improvements and the City’s ongoing multimillion-dollar investment in building infrastructure to serve the new 172-acre Riverfork West site, which in turn will attract new industry to our area and the jobs that come with it. Maintaining our parks system remains a priority, as do programs to build or replace sidewalks in areas lacking walkability and accessibility.

“If we want young people to be able to play outdoors, we need to make sure we invest in making the outdoors safely accessible,” Mayor Richard Strick said.

The budget also makes a key investment in employees. The ability to attract and retain top employees committed to serving Huntington is an important goal of the City. A seven percent wage increase was approved for 2023; however, the mayor and council members are excluded from the wage increase.

“The key question was, ‘Is it sustainable?’” Councilman Chapman said. “Based on historical budgets and our conversations with the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office and the Department of Local Government Finance, it is sustainable because of the savings that were achieved on the health care side of things. Employees are collectively taking care of themselves and are living more healthfully, and that has brought down our claims and health expenses.”

The 2023 budget establishes funding for the fiscal year starting January 1, 2023, across the Huntington Police, Fire, Aviation, Engineering, Community Development and Redevelopment, Street, Parks & Recreation, Communications and Human Resources departments, the Mayor’s and Clerk-Treasurer’s offices, and landfill operations.

The City’s budgeted expenditures total about $25.5 million, or roughly $1,494 per capita – well below the statewide average. In 2021, the most recent year data is available, Indiana cities and towns averaged $2,167.70 in per capita spending, according to a Department of Local Government Finance report.

2023 Budgeted Spending

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