Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration has released its final city budget. Landrieu touted a surplus, announced plans for a rainy day fund and continued an emphasis on beefing up the police department.
Landrieu pointed to a string of disasters in recent years – hurricanes, a tornado and the BP oil spill – that have cost the city a lot of money. Now he wants to establish a Rainy Day fund and set aside five percent of the general fund for the unexpected.
He also wants to raise pay for police officers in order to recruit more, and add training and a new command center.
“As we reform the New Orleans Police Department we have also invested. Since 2010, funding for NOPD is up by $30 million a year every year, which is about a 25 percent increase. In seven years, we’ve spent over $2.25 billion on public safety and emergency preparedness," says Landrieu.
In all, the budget calls for $1.3 billion for operations and improvements. Landrieu says his administration will work to hand off the city to the next mayor and council in better shape than what he found when he took office seven years ago.
“We’ll leave it all on the field, I assure you, and we will finish strong," says Landrieu.
He says his budget also calls for more affordable housing, business development and road improvements.