It’s budget time and after weeks of meetings with staff and residents, my 2016 Executive Capital Budget and 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Plan [CIP] reflect the continuing need to replace our aging infrastructure while investing limited financial resources in affordable housing, economic growth, and services to the City’s diverse population.
Agency requests and reauthorizations of prior year general obligation borrowing for 2016 totaled nearly $200 million. The property taxes necessary to service this level of debt and potential added operating costs is not sustainable.
My 2016 Executive Capital Budget reduces these requests by nearly $70 million, with a focus on a few key criteria:
- Projects that are in or near the construction phase
- Projects that are using federal matching funds
- Critical infrastructure rehabilitation needs
- Allocation of City resources to improve racial equity and social justice.
The general obligation borrowing is approximately $14 million less than in the 2015 capital budget Many projects have to be delayed, including neighborhood centers, public safety facilities, reconstruction of Monroe Street, and a biodigester. These projects are important, but must be balanced against all City priorities.
As part of our racial equity and social justice priorities, the Neighborhood Resource Teams identified key equity investments. I have proposed funding in the 2016 Executive Capital Budget to include:
- $6 million [$24 million in CIP] for affordable housing
- $1.5 million for a new shelter at Penn Park
- $2.65 million to reconstruct McKenna Boulevard, and to create safer pedestrian access to Elver Park and it’s amenities for the surrounding neighborhoods
- $350,000 [$1.85 million in CIP] for Healthy Food development in under-served neighborhoods
Read more on Capital Budget priorities at http://www.cityofmadison.com/finance/documents/2016CapBud/ExecCap2016.pdf.