Mayor Landrieu Presents 2017 Proposed Operating And Capital Budgets
NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented the proposed operating and capital budgets for 2017 to the New Orleans City Council at 10:00 a.m.
The $614 million proposed operating budget is completely balanced and continues to invest in top priorities, including public safety, job creation, recreation, streets, housing and quality of life, while delivering high quality services for New Orleans residents, City reps said.
“Since coming into office six a half years ago, we’ve made the tough decisions necessary to get New Orleans headed in the right direction,” Mayor Landrieu said. “By working closely with City Council, we have become one of America’s greatest comeback stories. We have had a very clear strategy: cut smart, reorganize, invest in our residents’ priorities, grow and then repeat. And now, we have the highest credit rating in New Orleans’ history. This took everyone working together toward our common goal to rebuild our great city. We heard from our residents during our Budgeting for Outcomes meetings over the summer to double-down on the basics. In the 2017 budget, we will have a laser focus on your priorities: public safety, job creation, recreation, streets, housing and quality of life. While substantial liabilities remain, we are working hard to address these issues. I remain optimistic because of our remarkable progress in turning the city’s fiscal ship around in the last six and half years. This is not only a budget, this is our roadmap to the future. 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, reorganizing, investing in citizen’s priorities, growing and then repeating, City reps said.
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 2017 budget. Nearly 1,200 residents attended these meetings and provided valuable input that shaped the Mayor’s proposed budget.
In a press release, Mayor Landrieu and City officials shared the following about the City’s top priorities:
COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SAFETY
• We will spend about $30 million more on NOPD than in 2010. We will increase NOPD funding by another $8 million. NOPD’s budget has increased for 7th straight year.
• Adding 11 civilian positions, from crime analysts to crime scene techs to recruitment staff.
• Dedicates $4.5 million in new overtime funding, which is comparable to adding dozens of officers to the force.
• Funds hiring 150 new police officers.
$500,000 toward new technology like license plate readers.
• Increase EMS’s budget by $700,000 to increase hiring to cut down on wait times and improve availability.
• Keeping the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the Coroner and our Courts fully funded at 2016 levels.
• Funds operation of Orleans Parish Prison at nearly $53 million, including a direct contribution of $45 million, nearly doubling what we spent in 2010.
• Funds $51 million to fully fund the Fire Fighter’s Pension Fund in 2017.
INVESTING IN OUR RESIDENTS’ PRIORITIES
• Prioritizing money for enforcing minimum wage for city employees and contractors, and our new local hiring policy.
• Fully funding our new initiative BuildNOLA, which helps train and connect local small business people to opportunities, especially at big projects like then we multi-million dollar Armstrong Airport we are building.
• Adding more than $200,000 in new funding to support workforce development internships for high school students through Youth Force NOLA.
Streets and Infrastructure
• Funds $3 million for pothole repairs and catch basin cleaning. The 2017 Budget will fund another $3 million for streetlight repairs.
• Adds $3 million in new funding to catch up on the backlog of drainage point repairs. Over $200 million of road construction has been completed in 2016 or is in progress, which is nearly ten times more street work than we used to do.
Quality of Life
• Sanitation and Parks & Parkways will receive increases to clean up our streets and neutral grounds.
• Funds $15 million in Code Enforcement to fight the blight.
• Funds $17 million for affordable housing programs, including developing more affordable units, providing housing loans and grants along with rental assistance.
• Funds $10 million to settle outstanding judgments.
• Adding new resources for Civil Service to ensure they can put people to work in a more efficient, effective manner.
BUILDING FOR OUR FUTURE
• $480 million investment in Capital Budget for street, drainage, water and sewer construction alone.
• We finalized a historic $2 billion settlement with FEMA for repairs to roads and sewerage and drainage infrastructure. Our 2015-2019 capital budget is set at over $1.5 billion and includes hundreds of street projects.
• A bond measure our residents passed won’t raise taxes but will free up nearly $120 million over the next few years for street repairs.
• Set our fund balance at $44 million to end 2017. Our fund balance is one of the primary reasons we’ve received major credit rating upgrades for the City.
Mayor Landrieu added, “I look forward to working with my partners in the City Council and hearing from residents so that we can present a balanced budget that keeps New Orleans moving forward. Just as over a thousand 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 the upcoming budget hearings for City departments and agencies in the City Council over the coming weeks. I was elected to turn the City around by putting our fiscal house back in order and getting our recovery back on track. This budget delivers on that promise and lays out a strong roadmap for the future.”
View the proposed 2017 Operating and Capital Budgets, presentations and Mayor Landrieu's prepared 2017 budget remarks here.