Rochester Mayor Malik Evans recently revealed his first City Budget proposal for 2022-2023 Fiscal Year.
The budget seeks to address six priorities to help city residents experience increased quality of life, it includes Public Safety; Strengthening Neighborhoods; Building Towards a Prosperous Future (infrastructure); Youth Development; Economic Empowerment; and Promoting Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice.
“This budget is a statement of our priorities and I submit my Administration’s first Proposed Budget filled with greater optimism than I had on my first day in office,” said Evans. “Even more so than when I began, I firmly believe that the work of my Administration, in partnership with the City Council and the residents of our great city, will chart a path to a prosperous future for Rochester.”
Evans says the $627.4 million in spending proposed does not include increases in property taxes.
City proposes an increase of $54.8 million (9.6 percent) over the previous 2021-22 Amended Budget of $572.4 million. Nearly half of the increase in expenses of $26.1 million – will be funded with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars.
Public safety highlights include $8.4 million in dedicated funding for Pathways to Peace, Office of Neighborhood Safety, youth enrichment programming and the newly established Rochester Peace Collective.
The Crisis Intervention Services unit will have added positions to ensure 24/7 crisis response and follow up services. The budget proposal includes full funding to Police and Fire Department recruit classes as well as equipment upgrades for the Rochester Police Department.
To strengthen city neighborhoods, Evans proposes strengthening the City’s code enforcement and compliance efforts and to promote increased landlord accountability and property inspections by adding staff to the Departments of Neighborhood and Business Development and Law. ARPA funding is being used to address the historic impacts of redlining through the Buy the Block initiative.
Youth development investments include increasing wages for Recreation and Youth Services part-time and seasonal employees, increasing internship stipends and increased opportunities for summer enrichment through the Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention.
The economic empowerment priority area will include funds for the Guaranteed Basic Income program and an addition of a full-time Kiva Rochester administrator to increase the City’s ability to administer zero-interest small business loans to entrepreneurs. The budget proposes two positions to provide training and outreach for businesses to support Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) compliance with state and federal contracts.
The City also plans to continue supporting the efforts of the Young Adults Manufacturing Training Employment Program (YAMTEP) and provide manufacturing skills and training services to young adults looking to enter the workforce.
Evans says he will dedicate $1 million to further implement the recommendations from the report of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE) to promote equity, inclusion and social justice.
“A full-time Education Enrichment Associate in our Department of Recreation and Human Services is added to provide services focused on social-emotional development of youth at R-Centers,” he said.
Evans said he appreciates the continued advocacy of Governor Kathy Hochul, state Senate and assembly delegations for their persistence in pursuing much needed funding for the city of Rochester. Hochul was acknowledged for delivering a monumental level of investment to Rochester for infrastructure projects such as the Inner Loop North, the design of a State Park at High Falls and other ROC the Riverway projects.
“I am also thankful for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joe Morelle for delivering federal funding that will allow us to undertake several transformational initiatives,” he said.
The City’s 2022-23 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2022.
Departmental budget hearings will begin on May 23 by the City Council with a vote on the budget during its June meeting.
For more information and to view the full budget proposal, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/budget.