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Mayor Barrett Presents 2016 Budget to the Common Council

September 22, 2015

Mayor Tom Barrett presented his 2016 proposed executive budget that gives Milwaukee residents needed relief and does not cut City services.  Among the highlights of this year’s budget are an emphasis on public safety, economic security for residents, job and neighborhood development, core infrastructure investment and solid fiscal management.  Mayor Barrett presented his 2016 fiscal plan to the Common Council Tuesday morning.

“More good things are happening in the City of Milwaukee than any other in the state,” Mayor Barrett said.  “Milwaukee is a great city.  Our natural beauty, our history and our public and private sector investments have all contributed to Milwaukee’s greatness. This proposed budget prioritizes people – their safety, their neighborhoods and their employment – so that Milwaukee’s greatness continues.”

The 2016 budget includes a tax levy freeze, which will provide the owner of an average-valued residential property with a City government tax levy decrease of $4.92, compared with 2015.  The proposed levy freeze, combined with continued investment in economic and neighborhood development initiatives, will improve the city’s financial environment for investment and redevelopment.

One of Mayor Barrett’s top priorities includes a commitment to public safety.  The 2016 budget includes $4.15 million to hire 100 new police officers by 2017, along with $880,000 to fund body cameras for all street officers.  

“Body cameras are the next evolution in policing technology and we are proud to be at the forefront of this public safety initiative,” Mayor Barrett said.  The Milwaukee Fire Department will also see a major investment of $1.5 million for two new engines and two new paramedic vehicles.

Furlough days will be eliminated for police officers in 2016 at a cost of $1.5 million. 

For 2016, funding for Compete Milwaukee will place a greater emphasis on links to ongoing job placements for program participants and continue to build on efforts to better match training programs and employer demand. 

The Strong Neighborhoods Plan, which was introduced in the 2014 budget, will see continued support in 2016.  “The $10.9 million for the Strong Neighborhoods focuses on reducing code violations, enabling essential home repairs, creating incentives for area redevelopment and supporting investment in commercial properties,” Mayor Barrett said.

Core infrastructure programs including streets, bridges, street lighting, water mains and sewers total $78.6 million in the 2016 budget.  The budget also continues the $1 million allocation to conversion of outdated street lighting, which has reduced area outages by as much as 90%.

In the coming weeks, the Common Council will review the Mayor’s budget and consider amendments.  The budget will be finalized in November.

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