FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Tuesday night’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting saw multiple hours of budget discussion with a focus on employee salaries.
The biggest topic of the night was public safety and salary increases for the departments involved.
The proposed budget includes a 4% salary increase for city employees. Police officers would receive a 5% increase. The fire department has the opportunity to also see a 5% increase in salaries but is still in negotiations between the city and union.
The $189.7 million budget includes record spending for neighborhood infrastructure improvements ($38.5 million), and plans for a 30-recruit academy class for the Fort Wayne Police Department and two new engines for the Fort Wayne Fire Department.
Other budget highlights include:
- Infrastructure plans including $29.1 million for streets, roads and bridges, $6 million for sidewalks and alleys, and $3.4 million for trails.
- Plans for FWPD to fully implement the body camera program, and an expansion of the Air Support Unit and Downtown Bike Patrol.
- A new academy class of 21 recruits for the FWFD, and a new Fire Station 14 at East State Boulevard and Reed Road.
- $3 million in maintenance projects at Fort Wayne Parks.
Other departments will be speaking at the next City Council meeting on Oct. 12 to defend and explain their proposals. Once all the departments propose their budget, councilmembers will begin to make cuts with the goal of a balanced budget. A finalized date for the 2022 budget has not been announced.
Also at the meeting, council voted the next phase of the Riverfront Development out of committee. Phase II includes rezoning roughly 92.4 acres located on the northside of the St. Mary’s River.