Governing Body Unanimously Adopts Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. Historic Investment in Public Safety
Last night the City of Santa Fe Governing Body unanimously voted to adopt the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget proposed by the administration. The $382.8 million budget reflects an increase of $25.5 million, or 7.1 percent, compared to pre-pandemic levels in FY19. The spending plan can be adjusted as the year progresses to address new needs and financial conditions.
The new budget includes an unprecedented investment in public safety that is characterized by generous pay increases, signing bonuses for lateral transfer police officers, purchases of state-of-the-art vehicles and equipment, and down payment assistance on home purchases so public safety personnel can afford to live in the city.
“This is a progressive and bold budget,” says Mayor Alan Webber. “In it, we invest in our employees, our parks and streets, housing, and sustainability. Community health and safety, in particular, are front and center as we come through COVID. We need to recognize our first responders. Right now, public safety is on everyone’s mind and we have responded to that concern with the largest investment in Santa Fe’s history.”
Key provisions of the public safety package include:
- A 16% salary increase for police officers and an 8% raise for other first-responders in order to retain and attract the very best people to protect our community.
- A $750,000 pilot project to provide mortgage assistance so police officers, firefighters, and EMTs can live in our neighborhoods.
- $15,000 incentives for lateral transfer police officer hires.
- A new police sub-station in the Downtown area.
- $1.1 million for police cameras, including body cameras and in-car cameras.
- Funding for 30 new vehicles, most of them hybrids.
- Expansion of the Alternative Response Unit (ARU) in the Fire Department.
- Funding for five evidence/property technician positions.
In addition, to address critical needs, bolster services, modernize, and professionalize all aspects of city government, other prominent spending plans include:
- Creating housing and livable neighborhoods; for the third straight year, the City will invest $3 million in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
- Creation of a Clean Energy Fund in part to reduce costs to enable households of all income levels to convert to energy- and cost-saving technologies like solarization.
- For the City to become the employer of choice in the region, employees will receive the equivalent of an 8 percent salary increase, the City will offer $2,000 annual retention incentives to existing employees, and will continue to offer $1,000 signing incentives to help fill city positions.
- Investments in smart growth planning and Midtown development.
- Investments in small business development, economic diversification, and education for workforce development and job creation.
- Parks and Open Space Division reorganization to include Watershed and Stormwater Office, create graffiti section, and add a superintendent while upgrading infrastructure and recreation amenities throughout Santa Fe.
- Creation of the Complete Streets Division, an innovative program combining Engineering and Streets divisions, to upgrade infrastructure, improve basic city services, and cultivate multimodal transportation.
Find the FY23 recommended budget book here.