South Bend council faces pressure to pass a budget for 2014

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

SOUTH BEND, Ind. The South Bend council had another difficult topic to tackle Monday night – the 2014 budget.

The council must pass a budget by Nov. 1, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg made some last-minute concessions.

Some council members expressed concerns the budget didn't include any funding for installing wells near the new energy ethanol plant.

People living nearby experienced flooding issues after the plant closed last year.

Since then, the city has been paying to keep one of the pumps at the plant running to prevent more groundwater issues.

But, homeowners want a permanent solution.

“They're happy that the water's no longer pouring in but you're constantly on eggshells,” said Judy Fox, an attorney representing the homeowners. “They don't ever know if tomorrow the wells are going to stop running.”

And that was enough to convince Buttigieg.

“I understand why any homeowner in that situation would expect certainty,” he said. “So having heard how urgent that concern is, we would like to suggest that the council or committee vote on an amendment.”

The council passed that amendment, which takes $350,000 away from the mayor's Smart Streets projects and sets it aside for the wells.

The council is holding a special meeting to vote on the budget Wednesday night.

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