Council finalizes city budget

Muncie citizens left City Hall disgruntled after the fiscal budget was finalized at a City Council meeting Friday night.

The purpose of the meeting was to decide if City Council would accept or override the line vetoes, or amendments, made by Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley on Monday.

Council President Allison Quirk said if the vetoes were not accepted, $9,000 would be added back into the budget.

Council member Brad Polk lobbied for reviewing the amendments line by line, rather than as a total package.

"I think it sets us up for some possible law suits," he said. "This is something we need to address before we override the veto."

Earlier in the week, McShurley said most of her vetoes were made to protect the city from legal conflicts.

A man in the audience wanted to voice his support for Polk's suggestion, but Quirk denied any comment from the crowd.

Within less than 20 minutes, a final vote was made in favor of a package veto.

Three members voted against it, including Polk and Linda Gregory, who also voted against the council's original version of the budget.

"I voted against it [Friday] just like I did last time," she said. "I still don't think they address insurance very well."

Gregory had another issue with the final budget. Traditionally, Muncie pays for the water firefighters use from fire hydrants, but the new budget calls for cutting hydrant water spending by $650,000, and pushing these expenses onto citizens who pay for city water. She said the council now has to decide how they will put this new ordinance into practice.

Quirk said it was a difficult decision for the council to make, but overriding McShurley's vetoes allowed them to balance the city budget.


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