CROWN POINT | The City Council voted 5-1 Thursday to adopt a $22.2 million 2014 city budget that includes a 3 percent raise for workers.
The pay increase for all full-time city employees comes after several years in which stipends, or lump-sum payments, were given in lieu of a raise.
Discussion Thursday centered on budgeting for the use of the city's expected share of a first-time Lake County income tax set to kick in Oct. 1.
City officials plan to use an expected $355,567 of local option income tax funding to pay salaries and benefits of top ranking police and fire officials, removing those costs from the general fund, which is paid from property taxes.
Local option income tax funding can be used only to fund public safety.
An additional $229,567 of the funding was set aside in the budget for as-yet unspecified capital outlays related to public safety.
Officials also budgeted $325,000 in county economic development income tax funding to go into a Rebuild Crown Point fund and an economic development revolving fund.
An additional expected $300,000 of the county economic development income tax funding was set aside for unspecified capital outlays.
Budgeting of the income tax revenue led to an exchange of words between Councilman Bill Feder, D-at large, who voted against adoption of the budget, and Mayor David Uran.
Feder said the county income tax funds could have been better budgeted and said he failed to see where it will be spent on improving streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure.
"I support the money going to visible, tangible improvements," Feder said.
Uran said the city can't use funding stipulated for public safety to build tangible improvements.
Funding of infrastructure improvements is expected to be a big part of how the Rebuild Crown Point funding is spent, Uran said after the meeting.
Council members agreed next year they will have more public discussion of the 2015 budget before it comes time to adopt it.