ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Malik Evans joined Office of Management and Budget Director Michael Burns Friday morning to announce the city’s budget proposal for 2022-2023 fiscal year.
According to the mayor, the proposed budget contains no increase in the property tax levy and focuses on six priority areas:
- Public safety
- Strengthening neighborhoods
- Youth development
- Economic empowerment
- 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,” Evans said. “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 budget calls for $627 million in spending, an increase of $54.8 million — 9.6% — compared to the year prior. Nearly half of the increase in expenditures, $26.1 million, will be supported by federal funding via the American Rescue Plan Act.
The mayor said the budget includes $8.4 million for public safety measures, including funding for Pathways to Peace, the Office of Neighborhood Safety, youth enrichment programming, plus the newly established Rochester Peace Collective.
Under the proposed budget, the Crisis Intervention Services unit will see additional positions added to its staff roster to strengthen emergency response efforts in the city.
The Rochester Police Department along with the city’s fire department units will also benefit from the new budget, according to the mayor’s office. Officers will be granted new equipment such as improved body cameras, while firefighters will have their recruitment classes fully funded by the city.
This follows the mayor’s violence response initiative announced Thursday, highlighted by funding to bolster the police force with an additional 11 new deputies, in an effort to reduce gun violence in the city.
According to the mayor, the Departments of Neighborhood and Business Development and Law will also see additional staff under the new budget. The move will promote increased landlord accountability.
Part-time and seasonal employees for Recreation and Youth Services will get an increase in wage. That is the mayor’s first step toward an improved youth development investment.
For “economic empowerment,” the mayor will add a full-time employee to increase the city’s ability to administer zero-interest small business loans. Furthermore, $1 million will be administered to further include recommendations from the report of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE). According to the mayor, a full-time associate will also be hired to provide social-emotional services for 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,” Evans said.:
The City Council is scheduled to begin departmental budget hearings on May 23 and vote on the budget during in June. The City’s 2022-23 fiscal year begins on July 1, 2022.
Full Press Conference:
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.