Philadelphia (USA): Philadelphia Mayor Michael A Nutter wants to keep the city of Philadelphia a great place to live, work and raise a family and this he stated while proposing the budget for FY 2016 and recommending key investments with focus on public safety, workplace development and public education to strengthen communities.
While tabling the detaile budget proposal for FY 16, Nutter also presented the Fiscal Year 2016 – 2020 Five-Year Plan to City Council.
Underscoring the main targets, the Mayor conveyed the message that these goals are for Philadelphia to become one of the safest cities in America, to improve the education and health of Philadelphians, to make Philadelphia a place of choice, to become the greenest and most sustainable city in America, and for the government to work efficiently and effectively.
The proposed $3.95 billion FY16 General Fund budget has nearly $90 million in added expenditures, which represents a modest increase in spending over FY15. The majority of new spending, about $78 million, will go toward rising employee costs including pension, health care and arbitration awards.
The budget proposals for the city of Philadelphia are committed to $169.6 million in City-supported Capital investments, the highest level of capital funding since FY02. Some of the Mayor’s FY16 spending proposals include:
- $5.5 million in new funding to strengthen the Department of Licenses & Inspections (L&I) as recommended by the Special Independent Advisory Commission in its report, A Plan for a Safer City. This new funding will rise to $10.8 million total by FY18.
- $3.9 million for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to launch a new office dedicated to youth workforce learning and development through expansion of its existing summer jobs program, the establishment of a year-round career development, and the creation of a transitional jobs program.
- $18 million for the Office of Fleet Management to replace aged vehicles in the Police Department, and large vehicles and apparatus in the Fire and Streets Departments.
- $3.6 million for the Police Department to expand the use of body cameras work by officers and to support mandatory training and equipment including 1,300 new bulletproof vests.
- $6 million for improvements to Police and Fire stations and other facilities.
- $3.4 million for the Community College to offset the need to increase tuition as well as funding capital needs.
- $1 million to support the Philadelphia Talent Collaborative, a new umbrella organization which will house the Graduation Coach Campaign, PhillyGoes2College, Campus Philly and Graduate! Philadelphia and other college attainment programs.
- $1 million to the Free Library for the ‘Read by 4thCampaign’, a city-wide coordinated effort to ensure that every student is ready at grade level by 4th grade.
- $1.5 million for improvements to various Free Library branch facilities, which represents the third year of funding for libraries totaling $4.5 million overall.
- $18.7 million for improvements to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation facilities across the city.
- $5 million for improvements to neighborhood commercial corridors including curbs, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and parking.
- $20 million for the Streets Department to pave neighborhood streets throughout the city, this represents a $4 million increase over FY15.
- $31.9 million for the Office of Innovation and Technology to make citywide technology improvements, including the creation a new data warehouse for the Department of Revenue which will help the city capture even more delinquent tax revenue: $5.7 million in FY16 and a total of $20 million over the Five Year Plan.
- $22 million for the purchase of new voting machines.