09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 14:29
CONTACT: Laura Mayes, City of San Antonio; (210) 207-1337
Michelle Vigil, City of San Antonio
[email protected]; (210) 207-4495
SAN ANTONIO (September 16, 2021) - Today, the City Council adopted the $3.1 billion Fiscal Year 2022 Budget. The City crafted the budget with participation from thousands of residents and policy direction from the City Council.
'As we head into the next fiscal year, the budget provides us a roadmap to address the community's immediate needs, while also focusing on long-term transformational initiatives,' said City Manager Erik Walsh. 'I want to thank the thousands of residents who participated in the budget development process and City staff, especially the Office of Management and Budget, for their work on crafting this balanced budget.'
The FY 2022 Adopted Consolidated Annual Budget, comprised of all funds excluding transfers, totals $3.1 billion. The General Fund budget is $1.36 billion. Restricted Funds, including Airport, Development Services, and Solid Waste total $1.12 billion; and the FY 2022 Capital Budget is $592.2 million.
The Adopted Budget reflects the City's better financial position due to a faster than anticipated recovery from the fiscal impacts of COVID-19, however this recovery continues as the Delta variant remains a threat to our community. The Adopted Budget restores many cuts made over the past two years, focuses on critical community needs, responds to crises differently and makes investments to become a more resilient city.
The FY 2022 Adopted Budget makes strategic investments in immediate needs that emerged from the pandemic, such as public health, housing, senior services, workforce development through the Ready to Work program and a more open and accessible City government.
Responding to crises differently
The Adopted Budget includes a new approach to police calls for service, including a new response method for mental health calls for service. The new response to these calls was developed through extensive community input, which included a scientific survey, 27 town hall meetings, analysis of 911 calls, research from the Meadows Institute and feedback from officers.
'Transformational change to policing in San Antonio begins with these pilot programs. My vision for the San Antonio Police Department is to be the best in the nation, in terms of training, innovation, community engagement and accountability,' said City Manager Erik Walsh. 'Through research, the community's ideas, feedback from City Council and our officers, the Adopted Budget changes to the way San Antonio responds to crises. San Antonio will only continue to grow over the years. The City will need to add police officers and resources to keep up with that growth, while balancing the costs with all of the community's needs.'
The new approach to policing includes:
During the Police Services Review public engagement effort, residents expressed a desire for stronger relationships with their SAFFE officers and more police visibility. The Proposed Budget also adds 15 Police Officers; 12 for the SAFFE unit to proactively engage with residents and strengthen community policing efforts and three to downtown bike patrol.
During the 27 Police Services Review town hall meetings hosted by the City many residents shared that better lighting would improve how safe they feel in their neighborhoods. The Adopted Budget invests a record high of $5.8 million for a streetlight program to take a proactive approach in identifying, monitoring, and administering a streetlight gap index throughout the city and respond to residents' requests.
Restoring cuts and investing in infrastructure
Through the City's SASpeakUp survey on the budget, residents ranked streets and sidewalks as their top priority. They also ranked it as the top service area in which to restore funding.
The Adopted Budget restores the street maintenance budget to $110 million. The sidewalks budget was increased by $3 million, bringing it to $20.8 million.
The Adopted Budget also adds $5.2 million for Vision Zero pedestrian safety improvements, plus $2.7 million for a comprehensive update of the 2011 Bicycle Master Plan. In addition, the Adopted Budget provides $1 million for each Council District to allocate to needed capital projects.
Investing in the public health of our community
Residents also ranked public health as one of their top priorities in the SASpeakUp budget survey. The Adopted Budget invests $16.3 million more for Metro Health, bringing the total to $81.4 million. Metro Health will develop Year 1 of a five-year strategic growth plan. The strategic plan will build on lessons learned from the pandemic to create a more coordinated approach to public health with a focus on mental health, health justice, access to care, and technology/infrastructure.
The City is also adding $1.1 million to fund expansion of Fire Department Clinical Dispatch program that allows 911 call takers to provide telemedicine to residents, freeing up ambulance and paramedic resources to respond to critical emergencies.
Addressing immediate community needs
The Adopted Budget allocates $32.8 million for Affordable Housing. It also provides funding for eight benefits navigators that will direct families and individuals to fair housing resources, options and assistance. To help seniors avoid and recover from identity theft, mortgage fraud and other scams the budget adds three financial counselors.
The budget also increases funding for the Under One Roof program from $3.25 million to $5.25 million and invests $1 million to provide funding to owner-occupied homes that have been designated as dangerous structures by Code Enforcement to assist them with avoiding demolition.
The Adopted Budget includes $500,000 in funding for the non-profit Older Adult Technology Services (OATS). OATS helps train seniors in using technology.
Adding resources for community priorities
The Adopted Budget allocates $50,000 in funding to two non-profits, Big Mama's Safe House and Rising Stars SA for crime prevention activities. These non-profits had widespread support and shared their initiatives to help the community at the District 2 Community Town Hall meeting.
The City will also begin providing a childcare stipend to members of City Boards and Commissions.
For more information about the Fiscal Year 2022 Adopted Budget, visit www.sanantonio.gov/budget.