The city councils in two of the state’s largest cities have approved budgets for 2017. South Bend council members agreed on a $369 million budget, while Fort Wayne’s plan came in at around $158 million.
The South Bend Tribune reports the budget breaks down to include nearly $88 million for economic development, $85 million for public safety and more than $84 million for utilities. The publication says two new departments have also been created. The Venues, Parks and Arts Department, includes the parks department, Morris Performing Arts Center and Palais Royale, Century Center and the downtown parking garages and the Department of Innovation and Technology includes a Technology Division, a Business and Analytics Division and the 311 Customer Service Center.
The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne says the city council cut out around $1.9 million of the $3.4 million proposed reduction. In a statement, Mayor Tom Henry said the 2017 budget "means a continuation of our commitment to providing needed services to residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. The balanced budget focuses on what residents have asked us to do," which he says will add 28 police officers and continues the city’s position as a "leader in economic development opportunities, job growth and strong neighborhoods that make our community a point of destination."