Hammond City Council moves leftover gaming money into new budget

2014-02-24T21:00:00Z 2014-02-24T23:04:15Z Hammond City Council moves leftover gaming money into new budgetMatt Mikus matt.mikus@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com
February 24, 2014 9:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | The Hammond City Council on Monday approved appropriating about $4.4 million in leftover 2013 gaming dollars into the 2014 budget.

The move is required before city officials can spend the money. Each year, the funds are designated for various infrastructure projects, ranging from road and sidewalk repairs to streetlight upgrades.

In the 3rd District, $345,863 remained. Councilman Anthony Higgs said the money would fund Claude Street renovations and lighting for Maywood Avenue.

Bill Emerson Sr., 4th District councilman, said the more than $1 million in his district would fund several projects planned before the last construction season ended. Emerson told a resident during Monday's City Council meeting the money would cover about 15 blocks of street improvements.

Higgs said he and Emerson pooled some funds to fix lighting on 165th Street from the state line to Calumet Avenue.

Second District Councilman Jack Uylaki said he plans to meet with the city engineer on how to use the $906,282 in his district. Uylaki said he has yet to make a final decision on where the money is going.

Only $59,980 remained for the 6th District. Councilman Homero Hinojosa said it's common practice to keep about $60,000 in a district's budget, in case unforeseen expenses occur over the year.

The mayor's appropriations left over from last year were about $1.81 million.

In the 1st District, represented by Mark Kalwinski, $224,531 remained.

The council also approved a resolution stating its opposition to any decision by the Indiana General Assembly to end the business personal property tax. The resolution says most municipal governments and schools depend on the tax to fund their budgets.

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