Evansville city leaders kicking off start of yearly budget proce - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville city leaders kicking off start of yearly budget process

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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

The city's budget plan estimates Evansville will see about $326-million in revenue, and about $325-million in expenses.

Some of Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's 2015 budget highlights include Roberts Park, adding police cars and a fire truck, urban blight clean-up, Mesker Park Zoo, new 'shot spotter technology,' and a 2% raise for most of the city's employees.

The mayor says a lot of the feedback he's gotten has been about Roberts Park, people saying they're ready to see it develop.

The budget plan asks for $1.5-million of casino revenue to put towards initial infrastructure of the park, which is exactly what they asked for last year.

But last year, council voted 7 to 2 last to remove the funding.

Mayor Winnecke says he's hoping for a different outcome this time, especially with the Rotary Club pledging $100,000 to the project.

"It's an opportunity to connect with green space from Morgan Ave. to the north to Lincoln Ave. to the south in one of the most unique ways," said Mayor Winnecke. "Most communities don't have this opportunity. This is phase one of that plan. We've said from the beginning that we would not overburden the city budget in any one year with this project, and the $1.5-million we're asking for starts to build the infrastructure of the park."

Budget hearings continue this week, with another one Tuesday afternoon at 2:30.

Council members will hear from city department heads.

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