Mayor Faulconer unveils $3.3B spending plan

Posted at 4:33 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 19:09:29-04

Mayor Kevin Faulconer Thursday unveiled a $3.3 billion spending plan for the city of San Diego's next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The mayor's office said the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget includes $109 million for street repairs and $373 million to reduce the city's infrastructure backlog.

"We've laid the groundwork for building a better San Diego in our first two budgets, and now we're taking neighborhood improvements to the next level with the most funding for infrastructure this decade," Faulconer said. "This balanced budget sets a record for road repair funding, keeps rec centers open longer for our families, invests in employment and education programs, continues fiscal reform and brings neighborhood upgrades to underserved communities."

The proposal will include an increase in the city's budget reserves, which will be hiked incrementally from 14 percent to 16.7 percent over the next several years under a plan approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

The spending plan will be presented to the City Council next week. The council members are expected to comb through the budget in May and adopt it in June.

"In my sixth and final year as chair of the city's Budget Committee, I am committed to ensuring the city's budget is focused on critical issues for San Diegans like infrastructure, neighborhood services, addressing homelessness, and funding implementation of our Climate Action Plan," Councilman Todd Gloria said. "I look forward to leading the City Council in reviewing the mayor's proposed budget in greater detail during the month of May and urge the public to weigh in with their priorities."

According to the mayor's office, the $109 million set aside for fixing roads is the most in recent history and a threefold increase over the budget two years ago. Some of those funds are slated to come from a bond sale that still requires City Council approval.

The city is on track to meet Faulconer's goal of repairing 1,000 miles of roadways in the next five years. Street conditions have been the top concern of San Diegans for many years.

The proposed spending plan would also:

-- expand hours at eight recreation centers from 45 to 60 hours a week
-- allocate $6.2 million on improvements at Mission Bay Park
-- continue funding for a year-round homeless shelter, and add more services for those with substance abuse issues
-- boost arts and culture funding by $1.4 million to a total of $14 million
-- continue offering four academies in order to boost staffing at the San Diego Police Department
-- add lifeguards at Mission Bay, Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs
-- fund projects to implement the climate plan

Financial staff projected moderate growth in all of the city's major revenue sources, include sales, property and hotel room taxes.

Faulconer proposed a $3.2 billion budget for the current fiscal year. Planned spending for the year before was $2.97 billion.