October 16, 2023

Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approves 2024 budget

Council leadership goes over the budget. Photo taken from meeting live stream.

Council leadership goes over the budget. Photo taken from meeting live stream.

The Indianapolis City-County Council approved more than $1.5 billion dollars in spending for 2024 with a unanimous vote Monday.

The budget is spread between departments, with the most spending set aside for public safety and infrastructure. IMPD will receive a record $323 million in funds. The money will allow the department to hire more officers and purchase new technology. The Indianapolis Fire Department will receive a spending allotment of $255 million. The Marion County Sheriff’s office is budgeted for nearly $130 million.

Independent councilor Ethan Evans, who is not running for reelection, was a sole vote against the budget for the past two years. He said he supports this year’s budget as it fills some public safety gaps.

“If we address all these root causes and mental health care, housing, living wages, education, food security, transportation and clothing and hygiene, and make all of these more affordable and accessible, we will see a much larger drop in crime and violence than more police and cameras,” Evans said.

Added funding for the Department of Public Works is also part of the budget.  The council approved $284 million for transportation-focused projects and $79 million for stormwater projects. That raises city investment over a five-year period to $1.2 billion.  An additional $25 million dollars is set aside for residential road repairs.

Republican councilors voted for the budget, but spoke out with concerns about sustaining infrastructure spending and public safety.  Minority leader Brian Mowery said he would like to see a more concerted effort to attract police officers.

“We're making headway, but is it enough?” Mowery said. “I do think that now it is more important than ever for rubber to meet the road and for us to actually get and retain some new talent in the city.”

Spending for departments including Indy Parks and the Department of Metropolitan Development remains steady.

A new Office of Equity, Belonging and Inclusion will receive more than $687,000 in funding.

Council committees have held public hearings over the past two months to discuss spending. Separate proposals for affiliated municipal corporations including Indy Go and the Indianapolis Public Library also received approval.

The new budget will start in January 2024.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org

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