SOUTH BEND South Bend must approve a budget by next week, and the mayor has some big changes in mind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is proposing changes to one-way streets in downtown South Bend, along with raises for some city employees.
Great Lakes Capital has proposed converting the old LaSalle Hotel into apartments, but Mayor Buttigieg says their decision to invest $8 million in the project will be largely impacted by whether or not the city converts Michigan and Main streets to 2-way streets.
“If we want to have the kind of economic development we want to see, we have to build for it,” Buttigieg says.
Converting downtown to all 2-way streets would cost the city about $11 million dollars.
Buttigieg is also seeking raises for city employees, many of whom work directly under him. He says the affected employees are making far less than people in similar positions in other cities.
“I know it’s not always popular when you talk about raising pay in government,” he says, “but I’m willing to accept some political penalty for that because I think it is the right thing to do.”
Buttigieg says despite the changes, this year’s budget is millions of dollars lighter than the 2013 budget.