Mayor Michael A. Nutter praised City Council’s passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) Operating and Capital Budgets, which includes investments to hire new Department of Licenses and Inspections inspectors and staff, provide 6-day library service at all library branches, fund neighborhood street paving, make improvements to libraries, recreation centers and Fire and Police stations, and more.
“The City of Philadelphia has passed a sensible budget that makes key investments in our neighborhoods, children, citizens, City infrastructure and the safety of the public. These investments are essential to meeting our goals for the City – to become one of the safest cities in America, to improve the education and health of Philadelphians, to make Philadelphia a place of choice, to become the greenest and most sustainable city in America, and for our government to work efficiently and effectively.” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to thank Finance Director Rob Dubow, Budget Director Rebecca Rhynhart and their staff for their hard work throughout the budget process. I also want to thank City Council President Darrell Clarke and City Council for their diligence throughout this process and commitment to the citizens of our great City.”
The FY15 Budget totals $4.52 billion, an increase of $557 million over FY14 expenditures. Excluding one-time expenditures in FY14 and FY15, the approved budget expenditures increase a total of $107 million in FY15, including a set aside of approximately $53 million for labor costs and $30 million due to rising pension and debt service costs.
“The budget approved today by City Council enables key investments in city-wide priorities, continues business and wage tax reform to spur job growth and puts aside funds for future labor costs for our workers,” said Rebecca Rhynhart, Budget Director. “While the budget is severely constrained by a high level of fixed costs and an economy that is still recovering from the recession, we are able to make targeted investments to move our city forward.”
The FY15 Budget includes the following Operating budget investments:
- $2.0 million for the Department of Licenses and Inspections to hire additional inspectors to strengthen demolition controls to ensure safe public and private demolitions.
- $2.5 million for Free Library to provide 6-day service at all branches throughout the City. Currently, most neighborhood branches only offer 5-day service.
- $2.0 million to provide summer jobs to Philadelphia youth.
- $2.0 million for the Office of Fleet Management to replace aged and unreliable vehicles in the Police Department and other operating departments.
- $1.9 million for the Office of Property Assessment to fully maintain the property assessment function.
- $1.0 million to the Office of Supportive Housing to compensate for federal sequestration cuts.
- $1.2 million to the Sheriff’s Office to hire additional Deputy Sheriffs for new Family Court Building.
- $500,000 to Parks and Recreation to fund expanded programs at recreation centers.
- $500,000 to the newly created Land Bank for one-time start up costs.
- $500,000 to the Mann Music Center to fund continued operations at this important cultural institution.
- $500,000 for Community College of Philadelphia to help offset tuition increases.
The FY15 Budget commits $134.4 million in City-supported Capital investments, the highest level of new, City-supported capital funding since FY02, including $50 million for neighborhood investment projects.
- $17.5 million for Departments of Parks and Recreation to fund improvements to facilities across the city.
- $16 million for the Streets Department to pave neighborhood streets throughout the city.
- $10 million for the Office of Fleet Management to purchase large vehicles such as medic units, pumpers and compactors.
- $7 million for Fire and Police station improvements as well as for the completion of the Former Woodhaven U.S. Army facility for police use.
- $5.8 million for security system improvements, infrastructure and other renovations at Prison facilities.
- $5 million for improvements to neighborhood commercial centers. The improvements include upgrades for curbs, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and parking to complement public and private reinvestment.
- $2 million for improvements to several library facilities.