NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu unveiled his proposed 2017 budget Monday morning, first in a news conference and then before the city council.
Landrieu's $614 million budget gives the New Orleans Police Department more money, but also makes some cuts. The mayor also wants to increase traffic cameras around the city.
Landrieu proposed giving the NOPD an additional $8 million in 2017 and he wants more civilian workers hired in the department to free-up officers for crime fighting.
Landrieu plans to ask voters again in December to pass a property tax to fund the fire fighters' pension fund, but he not trying again for a new tax to pay for police services.
In April, voters rejected two public safety millages.
His administration also wants over 50 additional traffic cameras, especially in school zones.
"The primary point here is to ask the citizens to drive more carefully and within the law. If you don't run a red light, you're not going to get a ticket. If you don't speed in a school zone, you're not going to get a ticket," the mayor said.
Landrieu said because of the city's fiscal constraints, it will need to borrow $10 million dollars to pay old judgments and federal liabilities.
He also said he is also making cuts in some administrative offices including the mayor's office and in the department of finances.
Other highlights, according to the mayor's office, include:
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 $17million for affordable housing programs, including developing more affordable units, providing housing loans and grants along with rental assistance.
- Funds $10 million to settle outstanding judgements.
- 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.