Planning for and Investing in Boise’s Future
[Excerpt from the FY2019 Budget Book: Message from Mayor David H. Bieter]
Boiseans can be proud to live in one of America’s most successful cities. That success has many benefits including diversity, vibrancy and a strong local economy.
These benefits of growth and success provide opportunities for continued investment in the great services our residents have come to expect from the City of Boise. They also present us with the challenge of continuing to manage growth in ways that protect those things that make Boise such a great place to live, have a career and raise a family. This budget reflects those priorities and the values of our residents.
Here are some of the initiatives that we completed in the last year and others that we continue to work on that align with that strategic framework and will help ensure we continue to deliver the best, most innovative services to our citizens:
- Progressed on construction of the New Path Community Housing, a partnership led by the City of Boise with over 25 local partners to create permanent supportive housing for the community’s chronically homeless through the Housing First model.
- Celebrated the opening of Magnolia Park, a seven-acre park in northwest Boise, and Franklin Park, a three-acre park in the Central Bench. Boise Parks & Recreation is expected to complete two additional local parks during FY 2018: Pine Grove and Sterling, as well as the next phase of the much-anticipated Whitewater Park in FY 2019.
- Launched a new recycling program that transforms a wide variety of plastic into synthetic fuel, innovatively addressing China’s decision to ban these recyclables from entering their country.
- Completed the Boise Fire Department’s state-of-the-art firefighter training facility made possible by a 2014 ballot measure overwhelmingly supported by 76 percent of voters.
- Celebrated the opening of the James Castle House, a project to preserve the home of James Castle, the deaf, self-taught Boise native, whose extraordinary artwork is internationally acclaimed.
To continue to achieve this high level of service, the council adopted broad goals for the FY 2019 budget development process:
- Continue to fund reserves to maintain fiscal stability with a potential recession on the horizon
- Commit to being financially cautious and not overbuild our base budget so as to be nimble as an organization and address future strategic initiatives
- Focus on funding known resource needs and large capital projects
The recommendations that follow are intended to reflect my budget priorities for the coming fiscal year. It is important to note that we continue to wait at least two years before recommending that additional revenue resources be included in the base-funding category; this helps to ensure that our budget is structurally balanced and more resilient to react to future economic changes.
Noteworthy items in the Proposed FY 2019 General Fund budget include:
- Creation of future financial flexibility through asking city departments to include no increase in base funding for maintenance and operations in their budget requests.
- The addition of new positions to address growth in demand for City services in Planning & Development Services and the addition of seven new officers in Police.
- Maximization of existing resources through funding most personnel requests within existing department budgets by making cost tradeoffs in other budget areas.
Published: June 21, 2018