FY2019 BUDGET PUTS NEIGHBORHOODS FIRST BY PRIORITIZING CORE SERVICES, PUBLIC SAFETY, STREET REPAIR, HOMELESS PROGRAMS & ‘CLEAN SD’ INITIATIVE
San Diego – Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer won unanimous City Council approval for his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget to fund the largest infrastructure investment in City history while prioritizing funding for core neighborhood services – including public safety, the “Clean SD” initiative, homelessness, street repair, recreation centers and libraries.
Mayor Faulconer plans to sign the budget into law Wednesday at the City’s Chollas Operations Yard alongside dozens of City employees responsible for providing the neighborhood services that San Diegans rely on.
“We’re making another big down payment on San Diego’s future with a balanced budget that puts neighborhoods first,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’re maintaining the key services we’ve restored in recent years and making the largest infrastructure investment in city history. I want to thank the City Council for unanimously supporting a budget plan that continues the progress we’ve made to fix more streets, help people into stable housing, put more officers on the street, and keep our libraries and rec centers open for families.”
The structurally balanced budget was made possible in large part by the prudent financial decisions, including pre-funding reserves, in last year’s budget and the Mayor’s directive this year for department directors to hold the line on spending.
Mayor Faulconer’s budget prioritizes issues important to San Diegans. Those include funding for the largest recruitment and retention package in San Diego Police Department history, the equivalent of 390 miles of street repair, the highest level of operating hours at libraries and recreation centers in a decade, and key initiatives such as the Climate Action Plan, Pure Water San Diego, Vision Zero safety measures, Clean SD, and several homeless programs.
The annual budget for the Capital Improvements Program, which funds most infrastructure projects throughout the city, has also seen significant growth since Mayor Faulconer took office. It has more than tripled since FY2014 and now stands at $559 million.
The budget follows responsible financial practices by ensuring that ongoing expenses are funded with ongoing revenues and that one-time expenses are paid for with one-time revenues. The plan includes:
- Most funding for the Capital Improvements Program in City history – $559 million
- $76 million in funding to fix the equivalent of 390 miles of streets
- $154 million for projects and programs related to the Climate Action Plan
- Includes $121 million to move forward with Pure Water recycling program
- $8 million for homeless services and programs, including three Bridge Shelters, the year-round interim housing program at Father Joe’s, Safe Parking Program and the new Housing Navigation Center
- $28.3 million for largest recruitment and retention package in SDPD history
- Continues with four academies of police recruits for $8.4 million
- Creating SDPD’s new Neighborhood Policing Division for $813,000
- An expanded firefighter academy for $242,000
- A lifeguard academy for $238,000
- $11 million for new animal services contract with the San Diego Humane Society
- An additional $4.4 million to expand the “Clean SD” initiative to cleanup neighborhoods and the San Diego River
- Creation of a new Sustainability Department to oversee implementation of the Climate Action Plan
- $18 million for projects to support Vision Zero safety goals, including bike facilities, sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks and traffic calming measures
- Maintaining recreation center and library hours at the highest level in a decade
- $1.5 million to staff two new libraries (Mission Hills/Hillcrest and San Ysidro) and 10 new facilities/open space in the Parks and Recreation Department
- Fee waivers of $300,000 for permits on companion units, also known as granny flats
- Fully funding reserves to policy targets and making $323 million annual pension payment
- Begins to replenish the Pension Stabilization Reserve with a contribution of $3.5 million
- Maintaining arts and culture funding at FY2018 levels minus 2 percent consistent with citywide reductions – $14.5 million
The City Council also made a handful of changes to the FY2019 Budget before giving final approval. They include an additional $2.3 million for streetlights; $882,000 more for tree trimming; $555,000 more for brush management; $500,000 and $235,000, respectively for repairs to the Chicano Park Community Center and the Mira Mesa Teen Center; $400,000 for five additional code compliance positions; $300,000 for more graffiti abatement, among other changes. That additional spending was offset by $1.8 million in excess equity in the current budget and shifting $3 million in capital resources.
The $3.8 billion budget recommends spending levels for City operations and capital projects for Fiscal Year 2019, which runs from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. For more information, the initial proposed budget can be viewed online here along with additional changes made during the May revise.