Funds will fix parks, add 15 police officers, replace two fire stations, add staff to planning and building; Budget reflects Mayor, Council and City Manager priorities

The Mayor and City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2015/16 Proposed Budget – the City’s financial plan for the coming fiscal year July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

“A six-month process has ended with welcome news for the citizens of Sacramento. We are dedicating funds to repair parks, recruit a more diverse police force, replace two fire stations, and to beef up our planning and building staff,” said City Manager John Shirey. “The budget reflects the priorities of the council and community, which have been thoroughly vetted in a variety of ways since January.”

The approved budget will pay for park repairs such as sprinklers, restrooms, tables, water faucets and playgrounds and pay for 18 additional park maintenance workers. Measure U (the half-cent sales tax approved in 2012) will fund $4 million in park improvements, 15 additional police officers, and three police positions to reopen the public counter at the William J. Kinney police station. The budget dedicates $300,000 to cover initial costs to bring on officers. The new recruits will not be hired until next fiscal year because the department is still filling vacant positions also paid for by Measure U.

Additionally, five more full-time staff will be hired to help serve customers in planning and building as activity has picked up along with the economy.

The total budget as amended by Council for FY2015/16 is approximately $947 million, including $394 million for General Fund operations, $461 million for Enterprise and other fund operations, and $92 million for capital improvement projects. The FY2015/16 Approved Budget is balanced and reflects adopted Council priorities, City policies, goals and planning/programming guides.

A $1 million contribution to the Other Post-employment Benefits Trust Fund is included in the approved budget. Additionally, as of July 1, the Economic Uncertainty Reserve (reserve) will be approximately 8.6 percent of General Fund revenues. The City’s goal is 10 percent.

This year’s budget development process included more active involvement of the Mayor and City Council. The efforts of the newly implemented Budget and Audit Committee, Council workshops, community meetings and a community survey provided an opportunity to more broadly engage councilmembers and the public.

The following are examples of what was approved in the budget:

Public Safety

  • $1 million to establish a pipeline hiring plan to recruit a more diverse police force
    • 15 additional police officers
    • $10 million to replace functionally obsolete fire stations (Station 14 in the Central City and Station 15 in South Natomas)
    • $1 million for a gang prevention programs

Economic Development

  • $2.1 million to plan strategically for growth and housing in the city core
  • Additional staff to serve the public for planning and building permits

Quality of Life

  • $4 million for an assessment of the City’s park infrastructure and for significant repairs and improvements throughout the park system
  • $1.1 million for the Homeless Housing Initiative through Sacramento Steps Forward where staff direct people to appropriate services and align housing resources based on the vulnerability of the homeless person
  • Six additional Animal Care positions at the Front Street Shelter

Good Governance

  • New digital technologies to make accessing City services online easier and providing services more efficiently
  • Utility Rate Assistance program to help offset recycling and solid waste rate increases for low-income families