Columbus: Mayor Andrew J. Ginther Releases 2020 Proposed Operating Budget
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Mayor Andrew J. Ginther released his proposed 2020 General Fund budget today at Glenwood Community Recreation Center on the West Side. The $965 million proposal strengthens the city's near- and long-term financial position through deposits into the Budget Stabilization ("Rainy Day") and Basic City Services funds, while investing in strategic policy priorities: neighborhoods, neighborhood safety and public health; economic development and affordable housing; birth-to-five and education; diversity and inclusion; and innovation and sustainability.
   "Our strong economy and sound fiscal management will allow the city to continue to invest in neighborhoods, especially our opportunity neighborhoods that have not yet fully shared in the success that defines Columbus," said Mayor Ginther. "My proposed budget also increases savings to protect critical city services and secure our financial future if the economy slows."

The City will deposit an additional $1 million in the Rainy Day this year, increasing its balance to $80.6 million – exceeding the savings goal of $80 million by the end of 2020, one full year ahead of schedule. Mayor Ginther has set a new goal of $90 million in the Rainy Day Fund by the end of 2024, and his proposed budget also maintains $20.4 million in the basic city services fund to cover unanticipated expenses or near-term revenue shortfalls.

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Mayor Ginther highlighted investments in his priorities:
  • Neighborhoods: Double the number of crews to fight illegal dumping
    • Increased staffing for neighborhood infrastructure projects like street resurfacingProgramming for community centers including the new Linden Community Center scheduled to open in 2020
    Neighborhood Safety and Public Health:
    • $4.8 million to fund 70 new fire fighters and 90 new police officers to maintain the highest number of police officers and firefighters in the City's history$1.02 million to fund new fire and police cadet classes to prepare young people for a career in public safety and increase diversity in future recruit classes$10.86 million across departments to continue the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy$2.8 million to begin implementation of Matrix Consulting recommendations$1.48 million to continue to address opioid addiction
    Birth to Five
    • Expansion to support pre- and post-natal home visiting through CelebrateOneFunds for 1,000 children to attend high-quality early childhood education
    Economic Development and Affordable Housing
    • Funding to speed the pace of affordable housing construction $1.95 million for Affordable Housing Trust$6.3 million for Community Shelter Board
    Diversity and Inclusion
    • Increased staffing to support minority business, monitor compliance and analyze data to increase access to city contracts for FMBEsFunding to establish a diversity and inclusion leadership symposium
    Innovation and Sustainability  
    • Funding to promote green infrastructure and conservation technologiesEstablish an innovation fund to increase departmental efficiencies, savings

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The 2020 proposed budget is a 5.56% increase over the 2019 budget as passed by Columbus City Council. The budget is based upon revenue and expenditures through the third quarter this year, and 2020 revenue estimates provided by the City Auditor. Columbus City Council will now begin budget deliberations, including public hearings, and is expected to approve an amended budget in early February 2020. The City Charter requires the mayor to present a balanced budget to City Council on or before Nov. 15 annually.stats

Filed Under: Government, City

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