Two Hammond budgets receive no comments at public hearing; council sets passage for Oct. 21`

Chicago Tribune 1 month ago

The Hammond Common Council held public hearings for both the 2020 Hammond Redevelopment Budget Proposal and the 2020 Sanitary District Budget when it met Oct. 7.

No members of the public asked questions or commented on the proposals during those hearings.

Sponsored by Councilman Dan Spitale and Councilwoman Janet Venecz, the proposed 2020 Hammond Development budget is $513,932 down from $523,009 in 2019. This includes a 2% salary increase.

Marty Wielgos, district manager of the Hammond Sanitary Department, and Rachel Montes, department secretary, gave information about the 2020 Sanitary District’s proposed budget during the public hearing. That budget ordinance is sponsored by Venecz, Spitale and Councilman Dave Woerpel, D-5th.

The Hammond Sanitary District includes the sewer department, Wielgos said. The amount of funding needed for the sanitary district in 2020 is $3.5 million, he said.

Montes told council members “because of the tax caps, we have to be really creative.”

The sewer budget includes a debt fund of $248,000, she said.

During the public hearing, Councilman Anthony Higgs, D-3rd, asked what kind of creative ideas the department has formulated.

“We’re still working on it. We should be able to show you those in two to three weeks,” Wielgos said.

Following the public hearing, the Hammond Common Council voted unanimously to pass the budget ordinance on first and second readings and set a third reading for final passage for the council-as-a-whole at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at city hall.

Lu Ann Franklin is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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