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Mayor Michael Nutter unveiled his budget proposal earlier today, but not before disruption by protestors caused his eventual escort out of City Council chambers.
During an address to select guests a short time later, Nutter said his proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 is one that “improves our vital infrastructure.” And in responding to one reporter’s query, Nutter said, “Quite frankly this is a budget that as I said in the speech is seeking to turn the page, we’re making some investments for a change.”
Those investments are most visible in the proposed FY14-19 capital plan, where nearly $10B has been recommended for allocation over a six-year period. In FY14, the Nutter administration is pledging to spend $91.1 million of city-supported capital funding through new general obligation bonds, $16.3 million of pre-financed GO loans and $10.1 million of PICA pre-financed loans toward infrastructure improvement. The latter are loans already authorized by City Council and the electorate but the capital dollars remain unspent.
Nutter is proposing a host of infrastructure investments in neighborhoods. Here are some of the key projects:
- $14 million for the Department of Parks and Recreation and Finance capital budgets. Money from these budgets is used to fund capital improvements and upgrades to existing facilities in Philadelphia neighborhoods
- $12 million for the Streets Department for reconstruction and resurfacing and ADA ramp reconstruction on neighborhood streets
- $5 million for neighborhood commercial center improvements to include upgraded curbs, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and parking
- $3 million for capital costs associated with the Bikeshare Infrastructure Program. Bike kiosks will be located across the city in various undetermined locations.
- $2.8 million for improvements to neighborhood branch libraries. This is in addition to $2.9 million that was allotted in fiscal year 2013.
- $1.6 million for improvements and upgrades to cultural facilities.
In his address, Nutter also highlighted improvements to city buildings including:
- Hiring 30 new employees in the Department of Public Property to revitalize police and fire stations and other city building maintenance.
- Deploying 40 employees to the Department of Parks and Recreation facility maintenance team to maintain pools, parks, playgrounds and recreational buildings, and to undertake small capital projects.
For a compilation of the chaos that occurred earlier check out Newsworks’ Spotify.