Brian Coddington, Communications Director, No Phone Number Available
Monday, September 12, 2016 at 4:20 p.m.
A first draft of the 2017 budget focuses resources on improving public safety and streets in Spokane while also investing in economic growth and the community’s most vulnerable.
The budget emphasizes integrated solutions, like the street and utility projects that are all about improving the quality of the Spokane River, and the My Spokane customer service center, which provides one click, one call, one visit assistance. Eliminating the structural gap between revenues and expenses, committing to restoring reserves depleted during the economic downturn and an increase in household income to its highest level in at least 10 years have made government more affordable and strengthened city finances.
Community conversations about budget priorities and resources have been ongoing since February. Those discussions reinforced that reducing crime, evolving how the city responds to calls for fire and emergency medical service and supporting the growth of the local economy are top priorities.
Assumptions in this year’s budget include 2.4 percent overall revenue growth, a 2.9 percent cap on utility rate growth, a $3.4 million benefits cost increase and $4.5 million in contractually obligated pay increases. Additionally, the city has committed to grow the investment in new public safety vehicles and equipment by $800,000 to $3.1 million this year and invest $27 million integrated capital work. It has also taken on new obligations associated with business regulation monitoring and arts funding.
Additional investments in homelessness, human services and economic development programs are also considered in the draft budget.