Mayor Landrieu Presents 2016 Proposed Operating And Capital Budgets
NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented the proposed operating and capital budgets for 2016 to the New Orleans City Council.
The $592.7 million proposed operating budget is completely balanced and continues to invest in top priorities, including, public safety, job creation, recreation, streets and streetlights and blight reduction, while delivering high quality services for New Orleans residents.
“Since coming into office over five years ago, we’ve made the tough decisions necessary to get New Orleans headed in the right direction and on a more sound financial footing,” Mayor Landrieu said. “This took everyone working together toward our common goal to rebuild our great city. And now, because of the foundation we laid, our brightest days are ahead. Our city’s population is growing, we’re attracting new businesses and retail that is creating jobs and our property values are up. This hard work is paying off and as a result, our revenue is up and we can invest more in our citizens’ priorities including public safety, job creation, recreation, streets and streetlights and to fight blight. Public safety remains my top priority. Unfortunately, substantial looming liabilities such as the fire fighter pensions and the consent decree mandate for the jail remain and we are working hard to address these issues, but I remain optimistic about our remarkable progress in turning the city’s fiscal ship around in the last five years. Next year has great potential for us to continue this progress forward as we approach our city’s 300th anniversary in 2018.”
When the Landrieu administration took office in May 2010, it inherited a $97 million funding gap. Since then, with the help of the City Council and residents’ input, Mayor Landrieu created structural reforms that put the City on sound financial footing and has balanced the budget every year by cutting smart, reorganizing government and investing in the future.
Mayor Landrieu hosted a series of community meetings this summer as part of the Budgeting for Outcomes process in each of the five Council Districts to hear from residents about their priorities for the 2016 budget. About 1,500 residents attended these meetings and provided valuable input that shaped the Mayor’s proposed budget.
Today, Mayor Landrieu presented a $592.7 million operating budget. Stabilizing and better managing the budget has allowed the administration to focus resources on its top priorities.
COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SAFETY
• In 2016, NOPD will receive an additional $10.5 million plus another $300,000 increase in consent decree funding. NOPD’s budget has increased for 6th straight year.
• To retain and attract new NOPD officers, budget fully funds 15% pay raises and budget more for nearly $11 million in overtime.
• Funds hiring 150 new police officer recruits trained in community policing for a total budgeted police force of 1,266 officers.
• Funds 50 new police cars bringing fleet to 450 new police cars purchased since 2013.
• Funds license plate readers to help NOPD investigations.
• Over $4.3 million increase for NOFD includes funds for 40 new recruits. Additional $5 million from the Capital Budget to buy 11 new fire trucks.
• More funding to Public Defender, District Attorney, Criminal District Court, Municipal Court and Juvenile Court.
• Funds Sheriff at $60.8 million for 2016 including additional $8.5 million from LED Millage to be used for operations. In 2012, only $27.9 million allocated.
• The 2016 budget proposal also dedicates funding to looming liabilities, including an additional $43.2 million to the Fire Fighters’ Pension Fund plus pension obligation bond funding of $17 million for a total of $60.2 million to address those costs.
• Major costs like the Sheriff’s budget and Fire Fighter Pension take up most of the new revenue.
INVESTING IN RESIDENT’S PRIORITIES
• With once in a lifetime projects underway at Armstrong Airport and S&WB, 2016 budget dedicates more than $700,000 to City’s Economic Opportunity Strategy to create a pathway to prosperity for citizens, particularly young, African American men who are in need of a job.
• Funds $500,000 for Disparity Study and new funding for DBE and Living Wage law enforcement.
• Millions more for street maintenance crews in each Council District every day of the week.
• Funds $3 million for streetlight repairs and upgrades to maintain 90-95% operational rate.
• Sanitation and Parks & Parkways will receive increases to keep public spaces clean and beautiful.
• In 2016, NORDC will receive $1.3 million more (nearly triple that of 2010) to fund staffing at City’s new centers including the Sanchez, Stallings St. Claude and Rosenwald centers.
• Funds blight eradication initiatives to continue City’s success having already eliminated 15,000 blighted addresses. Fully funded lot maintenance program will continue hiring locals to cut over 4,800 abandoned lots.
• Safety & Permits will receive $750,000 and City Planning will receive $469,000 to replace expiring grants and maintain City Hall’s customer service focus through One Stop Shop.
• Funds NOLA Business Alliance to create new jobs by continuing to attract businesses and retail.
• Funds NOLA 311 customer service system and One Stop Shop for permitting.
• Funds $17.3 million for more affordable housing, provide housing loans and grants, rental assistance and a $1.5 million low-barrier shelter for the homeless. Additional $6 million of CDBG and NHIF funds dedicated to the development and preservation of affordable housing.
• Funds $10 million to settle outstanding judgments.
BUILDING FOR OUR FUTURE
• $150 million in 2016 Capital Budget for road repairs and infrastructure improvements (FEMA-funded Recovery Roads Program, bond funds and implementation of stormwater management projects as proposed in the City’s Resilience Strategy).
• Ongoing improvement projects like the Criminal Evidence and Processing Center, Milne Gym Renovation in Gentilly, Municipal Yacht Harbor in West End, the reconstruction of St. Bernard Ave. from Filmore Ave. to Robert E. Lee Blvd., Gert Town Natatorium and new NOPD Second District Police Station in Gert Town.
Mayor Landrieu added, “I look forward to working with the City Council and hearing from residents so that we can present a balanced budget that keeps New Orleans moving forward. Just as hundreds of you helped us get to this point by giving feedback at this summer’s Budget for Outcomes community meetings, I ask you all to attend these budget hearings in City Council over the coming weeks. Together, we are now on a strong path and working toward our goal of creating a city of peace where everyone can thrive and no one is left behind.”
View the proposed 2016 Operating and Capital Budgets here