Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Monday, November 2, 2020 at 4:46 p.m.
Mayor Nadine Woodward delivered a final proposed budget to the City Council today that prioritizes public safety, housing, homelessness, and economic development and was developed in collaboration with the City Council’s Budget Committee.
The budget includes public safety investments in the Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Facility and an incremental expansion of the co-deployed mental health resources as part of the Spokane Police Department’s Behavioral Health Unit; homelessness funding for an intensive Bridge Housing Program to move people out of homelessness and three additional code enforcement positions to address illegal camping; the addition of a housing specialist and investments in acquiring, rehabilitating, and constructing affordable housing; and adding three positions to improve application review times and filling two vacant planner positions to accelerate the City’s economic recovery.
“The budget is built around citizen priorities, which is forcing some thoughtful and difficult conversations because of the economic impact COVID has had on the City’s anticipated revenues,” Woodward said. “It has forced us to be creatively responsive and to talk about how we strategically use reserves to keep the City financially strong during an economic recovery that is likely to take a few years. The time we have spent with the City Council Budget Committee working on solutions has us much further along in the conversation.”
The proposal is for a General Fund budget of a little more than $207 million and a total City budget of $989 million. Economically dependent revenues are projected to be down $600,000 next year. By comparison, those same revenues were estimated to be $2.6 million more in 2020.
The final proposed budget is the culmination of months of work, revenue modeling to account for COVID impacts, and discussion with the City Council about priorities and how to accommodate competing needs. It includes several adjustments from the mayor’s preliminary budget, published on October 5, based on a series of meetings between the mayor and the City Council Budget Committee. The conversation between the mayor and City Council is expected to continue while items with regional considerations continue to evolve.
“Council appreciates the new collaborative budget process. We have already reached several compromises that will preserve city services while remaining fiscally responsible,” said City Council President Breean Beggs. “Council Members Candace Mumm, Lori Kinnear and myself look forward to even further progress over the next few weeks as we continue our conversations with the Mayor, Council and the public.”
“This has been a collaborative process that ensures we maintain our core services and be fiscally prudent,” Kinnear said.
The City Council will convene a series of public hearings to consider the mayor’s final proposed budget. Hearings will be held during regular meetings of the City Council.