Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has rolled out an aggressive $131 million spending plan that would put more law enforcement officers on the streets and improve roads and other public infrastructure.
It is part of a $1.2 billion dollar budget for the next fiscal year that Curry presented during the city council meeting on Monday. The Florida Times-Union characterizes it as a “stimulus-style budget” that “represents a windfall the city hasn’t seen since the economy soured late in the last decade.”
Money for Curry’s budget plan comes from a stronger economy, increased property values and savings from a series of employee-pension plan reforms. The proposal is based on maintaining the property tax rate at its current level.
The mayor’s proposed budget calls for the hiring of an additional 100 police officers who Curry says will help reduce the city’s high violent crime rate. It would also add 42 new positions to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, as well as a backup communications center.
It also calls for spending $12 million dollars on road resurfacing and $8 million to help build new dormitories and a community field at Edwards Waters College.
There is also funding for downtown improvements, including the extension of the Southbank Riverwalk and the demolition of the former county courthouse and city hall annex, which Curry hopes will encourage private development on those properties.
The budget proposal calls for spending tens-of-millions of dollars on a variety of smaller projects ranging from sidewalk construction and road widening, to park improvements.
An additional $10 million would be put away for an emergency, increasing the city’s emergency reserve account to almost $66 million.
The city council will have the final say on a budget plan that will take effect Oct. 1. The council’s finance committee will begin reviewing Curry’s budget proposal next month.
That’s great that the city is getting some improvements. What I would love is for the city to invest in a nice cruise port where more cruise ships can leave out of Jacksonville. That would bring money into the city. More hotels rooms filled and more money spent on food and other entertainment, when people come in early or stay over after their cruise. A crewmember told me on the Elation this year that the city said they were getting a nice port 10 years ago. This is something that would be very good for the city.Cruising is making a lot of money. Also the airport should be expanded for more airlines offering value flights. A lot of people drive all the way to Orlando or Tampa for flights.I am new to Jacksonville and these are things that I know would bring people to the city.
Mayor Curry there is a project implemented here in Jacksonville called Project Hope that does not yo he doing anything but promise hope. I am personally aware of sevetal senior citizens that have applied for asdidtance
To: Mayor Curry
There is a project in Jacksonville called Project Hope that is i feel is disfunctional. There are several senior citizens that have applied for their services at least four months ago with no viable response. Some that have applied needed a roof and have leaks, one have been without air conditioning every since May. We are told there is a process and when you guestion still nothing of substance has been explained. Several of us wanted to question but afraid oc reprisals. I am taking a chance that my work will never be done but feel i have to question why if money available for a project why it is not being utilized. Please help me understand what is happening with this project. All we here is that ‘there is a process ‘ please help us understand the process. Do hope I will not suffer reprisals for asking your assistance,we just need an explanation. Thanks in advance