Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley sent his budget proposal Thursday to City Council members for their consideration.
Cranley made a little more than $3 million in changes to City Manager Patrick Duhaney's spending proposal that was released last week.
Duhaney's plan included about $16 million in spending reductions. The city was originally facing an $18.9 million general fund deficit. That number was reduced by a better forecast for projected income tax collections for the fiscal year, which starts July 1.
The city manager's plan eliminated nearly 68 full-time positions; nine of those were filled and those employees will be offered transfer to different city departments outside the general fund.
Duhaney also cut $1.6 million in funding for several neighborhood, economic development and human services programs.
"Budgets are not simply recitations of what we have done, but what we intend to do," Cranley wrote in his budget message to council. "This budget reflects my values. It shows that fiscal responsibility and compassion are not mutually exclusive. It shows that we can run a city that serves its residents and makes the most of the resources they give us despite challenges."
Cranley in his budget plan funded many of those programs Duhaney proposed to cut. Some of those restorations include:
- $250,000 REDI Cincinnati
- $325,000 African American Chamber of Commerce
- $65,000 MORTAR
- $250,000 CincyTech
- $250,000 Cintrifuse
- $143,000 CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati
- $250,000 Summer Youth Jobs Initiative
- $400,000 Keep Cincinnati Beautiful
- $150,000 Needle Exchange program
The mayor did not restore funding to all of the programs that Duhaney cut, including $692,000 for the Center for Closing the Health Gap.
The mayor is funding his restoration and additions largely with an anticipated $1.9 million increase in funding received from the state of Ohio from the local government fund. Another chunk comes from switching the affordable housing trust fund to the city's capital budget. That frees up $611,000 in the general fund budget.
Cranley is also recommending $800,000 for "emergency wrap around services through Project LIFT."
"This program, led by the Childhood Poverty Collaborative, is aimed at providing support to families who face everyday challenges, that could be considered minor to some, but unfortunately prevent them from getting or keeping a job," Cranley wrote.
The mayor also added $250,000 for Cincinnati Works to assist with job training efforts, and another $250,00 for eviction services.
Cranley also added $200,000 of operating money and $150,000 in capital funds to assist Shelterhouse. That will allow the agency to transform its 90-day winter shelter facility into one that is open year-round.
"Shelterhouse operates one of the most cost-effective permanent housing programs in Cincinnati," Cranley wrote. "Eighty percent of those housed do not return to the streets or shelter within two years."
Cranley only restored one of the nine positions being shifted out of the general fund by the city manager.
Cincinnati's Council Budget and Finance Committee will now begin work on the spending plan.
The committee is holding public hearings on May 29 at LeBlond Recreation Center; June 3 at UC Innovation Hub; and June 4 at Madcap Theatre. All the sessions begin at 6 p.m.
The full City Council is expected to approve a budget on June 19.