First budget proposal is balanced, focuses on economic development, public safety, prudent fiscal management and improving quality of life
Mayor Lee Brand, along with City Manager Bruce Rudd, today announced the proposed City of Fresno budget for Fiscal Year 2018 during a press conference at City Hall. The $1.138 billion budget puts an emphasis on continuing the City’s long-term financial stability, while focusing on economic development and increasing public safety staffing and representing the best possible use of the City’s limited resources to address the most pressing issues.
“My commitment to fiscal responsibility was demonstrated during my eight years on the Council and has been consistently applied to this year’s budget,” said Mayor Brand. “My vision for Fresno is to transform our economy by creating citywide prosperity that will improve the quality of life for everyone. ”
The proposed FY 2018 budget is Mayor Brand’s first spending plan since taking office in January of this year. It represents a balanced approach to rebuilding the financial health of the City and adding back core municipal services. Among the highlights, the FY 2018 budget:
- Funds 21 additional sworn police personnel to increase sworn staffing to 825, the highest staffing level since 2010.
- Expands ShotspotterTM coverage from 6 to 9 square miles.
- Provides funding for new police substation in Southeast Fresno, as well as 50 new patrol vehicles and 14 motorcycles.
- Makes the Office of Independent Review a full-time, local position
- Continues the implementation of the Mayor’s Rental Housing Improvement Act by establishing the Proactive Rental Housing Inspection Program that will focus on dramatically improving the quality of rental housing available in Fresno.
- Expands the Weekend Health & Fitness Program to include instructional and recreational swimming programs at Fresno Unified and Central Unified schools.
- Provides $5 million in funding for neighborhood parks renovation projects.
- Provides over $26 million in funding for street maintenance projects.
- Provides funding for an Alley Maintenance Team which will be responsible for the semi-annual of cleaning of every alley within the City limits.
- Creates enhancements to the City’s online billing for utilities system.
- Reflects over $1 million in savings from the refinancing of the majority of the City’s debt; a total of $42 million in savings will be realized citywide over the life of the debt.
- Continues contributions to the City’s General Fund reserve, on track to reach a 10% reserve by FY 2020.
- Continues funding for the Economic Expansion Act and the Industrial/Large Office Development Impact Fee Elimination or Reduction (iDEFER) Program
- Includes funding needed to complete implementation of the new land management system that supports Business Friendly Fresno 2.0.
- Aligns one-time savings and revenues into a funding stream tied to the year when the General Fund debt shows significant reductions. In 2024 the General Fund annual debt will drop $3.5 million and by 2030 it will drop $14.8 million.
City Manager Rudd added, “What we have accomplished as an organization is nothing less than astounding, and it’s a testimony to the grit and determination that comes with living in this community. It is who we are and is why Fresno will always be a special place.”
Mayor Brand will present the proposed budget to Fresno City Council at its meeting on Thursday, May 25, 2017. The City of Fresno’s budget must be adopted by June 30, per the city charter.
The full FY2018 Budget Proposal can be viewed online at www.fresno.gov/budget.