Mayor Berry Sends Balanced Budget to City Council
Today Mayor Richard J. Berry sent his balanced budget proposal to the City Council. The proposal reflects a fiscally responsible government that continues to provide critical services to the community. The proposed budget does not raise taxes. It builds the reserves, cuts the size of government, avoids layoffs and furloughs, and begins the process to restore lost wages to City employees.
The City’s 5-year forecast indicated a $40.8 million budget shortfall if no adjustments were made. Mayor Berry’s budget makes the necessary adjustments to successfully balance the FY12 budget and the recurring savings will help balance future budgets for years to come.
FY12 Major Highlights
- No new taxes or increases in existing taxes.
- Permanently eliminates 186 vacant positions saving the general fund $10.4 million. Combined with the FY11 deletions of 162 positions, the City will have reduced the size of government by 348 positions which is to equal to a 5.7 percent reduction.
- Places an extra $200,000 in reserves, commonly called “rainy day fund,” on top of the 1/12th of the budget already put in as required by state law.
- Reserves added for anticipated increases in the costs of fuel, electricity, and other utilities.
- Budget requires City to operate new facilities coming on line with existing staff, thus saving $8.2 million.
- Budget does not reduce operating hours for libraries, community centers, senior centers, city parks or museums.
- Albuquerque Police Department remains funded for 1,100 officers and a police academy.
- Budget allows for one-time funding for new police cars, big ticket maintenance on the transit fleet, and new computers.
- Funding for an enhanced spay/neuter program at the Eastside animal shelter continues.
- Budget sets aside $3.3 million for wage increases pending the outcome of labor negotiations. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to an average 1 percent wage increase for all employees making less than $100,000/year.
- Appropriates $300,000 for Running Start for Careers, a new high school retention and workforce development program aimed at providing technical training to give students a head start on a career path.
- The City has entered into an agreement with Presbyterian Healthcare Services as a sole source provider for health insurance benefits. This agreement saves $4.7 million.
- BioPark fee increase of $1.50 which will generate $600,000 for the expansion of the crocodile exhibit and rose garden.
- Parks and Recreation shooting range fee increase of $2 to improve the program, which will generate $60,000.
- $200 fee on State required permits for oversized/overweight vehicles traveling through Albuquerque creating $440,000 in new revenue.
- Realizes savings of $606,000 as a result of negotiations with Bernalillo County to take over Fire Station 29, which is on County property already.
- Provides funding for the 2011 municipal elections.