Mayor Ginther proposes $965 million operating budget for 2020

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has announced his proposal for the city’s 2020 operating budget.  

Ginther announced Wednesday that he is proposing a $965 million budget that he says will strengthen the city’s rainy-day fund, increase neighborhood safety and public health among other prioritites.  

“Our strong economy and sound fiscal management will allow the city to continue to invest in neighborhoods, especially our opportunity neighborhoods that have not yet fully shared in the success that defines Columbus,” said Ginther during the announcement at Glenwood Community Recreation Center. “My proposed budget also increases savings to protect critical city services and secure our financial future if the economy slows.” 

Other priorities highlighted in Ginther’s budget include:

Neighborhoods: Double the number of crews to fight illegal dumping 

  • Increased staffing for neighborhood infrastructure projects like street resurfacing 
  • Programming for community centers including the new Linden Community Center scheduled to open in 2020 

 Neighborhood Safety and Public Health: 

  • $4.8 million to fund 70 new fire fighters and 90 new police officers to maintain the highest number of police officers and firefighters in the City’s history 
  • $1.02 million to fund new fire and police cadet classes to prepare young people for a career in public safety and increase diversity in future recruit classes 
  • $10.86 million across departments to continue the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy 
  • $2.8 million to begin implementation of Matrix Consulting recommendations 
  • $1.48 million to continue to address opioid addiction 

Birth to Five 

  • Expansion to support pre- and post-natal home visiting through CelebrateOne 
  • Funds for 1,000 children to attend high-quality early childhood education 

Economic Development and Affordable Housing 

  • Funding to speed the pace of affordable housing construction 
  • $1.95 million for Affordable Housing Trust 
  •  $6.3 million for Community Shelter Board 

Diversity and Inclusion 

  • Increased staffing to support minority business, monitor compliance and analyze data to increase access to city contracts for FMBEs 
  • Funding to establish a diversity and inclusion leadership symposium 

Innovation and Sustainability  

  • Funding to promote green infrastructure and conservation technologies 
  • Establish an innovation fund to increase departmental efficiencies, savings 

The 2020 proposed budget is a 5.56% increase over the 2019 budget as passed by Columbus City Council. The budget is based upon revenue and expenditures through the third quarter this year, and 2020 revenue estimates provided by the City Auditor. Columbus City Council will now begin budget deliberations, including public hearings, and is expected to approve an amended budget in early February 2020. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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