Zionsville’s proposed budget for 2018 includes the addition of several new town employees, a pedestrian bridge downtown and a fully automated irrigation system at Zionsville Golf Course.
The Zionsville Town Council held a first public hearing for the proposed $25.3 million operating budget at its Oct. 2 meeting, the first council meeting to be held in the new Town Hall building. The proposed operating budget is nearly 15 percent larger than the 2017 budget.
“It’s a robust budget, but it is also a balanced budget,” Deputy Mayor Ed Mitro said.
The 2018 tax rate is expected to be $0.5987, a $.0135 increase compared to the 2017 rate. The Dept. of Local Government Finance will provide the official tax rate after reviewing and certifying the budget approved by the town council.
- An overall 2.5 percent increase in salaries.
- The addition of an IT position.
- A new deputy director position in the human resources department.
- The addition of a legal reserve line item with $100,000 to use for unforeseen litigation expenses.
- The addition of a right-of-way coordinator position in the streets department.
- $875,000 for a pedestrian bridge adjacent to Zionsville Road to connect the South Village area with the Village area.
- $520,000 for lighting improvements along the planned Zionsville Road expansion project.
- The creation of a full-time stormwater tech position (currently a part-time position).
- $275,000 for a new street sweeper.
- The addition of a second full-time fire marshal position.
- A second full-time administrative assistant in the Zionsville Police Dept.
- $400,000 to help purchase a fully automated irrigation system at Zionsville Golf Course.
ZPD is expected to hire three additional officers using local income tax funds designated for public safety. Town officials had anticipated that funds previously being used to support ZPD and the Zionsville Fire Dept. could be used for their originally intended purposes when the LIT went into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and that will be the case, Mitro said.
“In the past, we were drawing from those funding sources to prop up both fire and police,” he said. “We do not have to do that anymore.”
The second public hearing on the budget will take place at the council’s next meeting set for 7:30 a.m. Oct. 23.