News Release - Mayor Evans Releases His First Proposed City Budget

City of Rochester

News Release

(Friday, May 13, 2022) – Mayor Malik D. Evans released his first City budget proposal today that contains no increase in the property tax levy and reflects the six priority areas of his Administration: 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 Mayor Evans. “Even more so than when I began, I firmly believe that the work of my Administration, in partnership with City Council and the residents of our great city, will chart a path to a prosperous future for Rochester.”

Overall, the proposed budget calls for $627.4 million in spending, an increase of $54.8 million (9.6 percent) over the 2021-22 Amended Budget of $572.4 million. Nearly half of the increase in expenditures – $26.1 million – will be funded with American Rescue Plan Act 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. In addition, positions are added to the Crisis Intervention Services unit to ensure 24/7 crisis response and follow up services; and the budget proposal includes equipment upgrades for the Rochester Police Departments and fully funding Police and Fire Department recruit classes.

To strengthen city neighborhoods, Mayor Evans is proposing to bolster 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.

Budget highlights in the Mayor’s Economic Empowerment priority area include funds for the Guaranteed Basic Income program and the addition of a full-time Kiva Rochester administrator to increase the City’s ability to administer zero-interest small business loans. The City will continue its Young Adults Manufacturing Training Employment Program (YAMTEP), supporting the Program’s efforts to provide manufacturing skills and training services to young adults looking to enter the workforce. The budget proposes two positions to provide training and outreach for businesses to support MWBE compliance with state and federal contracts.

To promote equity, inclusion and social justice, the Mayor is proposing to dedicate $1 million to further implement the recommendations from the report of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE). The budget also includes funding for Forestry and Ash Tree Programs to address the disparity in tree plantings across many city neighborhoods. 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.

“I am grateful for the efforts of Governor Kathy Hochul and for the strong working relationship we enjoy with our State Senate and Assembly delegations,” said Mayor Evans. “We appreciate their continued advocacy for Rochester and their persistence in pursuing much needed funding in many areas as well as an increase in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM). 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.”

Governor Kathy Hochul has a delivered monumental level of investment to Rochester for such infrastructure projects as the Inner Loop North, the design of a State Park at High Falls and other ROC the Riverway projects. ARPA funds will be used for numerous meaningful projects including lead water service line replacements.

The City Council will begin departmental budget hearings on May 23 and vote on the budget during its June meeting. The City’s 2022-23 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2022.

For more information and to view the full budget proposal, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/budget.

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