It's that time of year again, when the mayor and city council hash out a final budget plan for the city. Hearings started last week.
Mayor Landrieu's proposed $500 million budget is tight, but there are very few major cuts to city services, and no layoffs or furloughs for workers. In fact, if his administration's predictions are correct, the city will end up with it's first budget surplus in years.
New Orleanians who attended recent public meetings on the 2014 city budget had a lot of complaints, but none came up so frequently as the city’s crumbling streets. With constant construction on the city’s major commercial arteries, residents of smaller streets wondered when the city planned to get around to them.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s 2014 capital budget may finally offer some relief. Of the $247 million dedicated to capital projects in the proposal, more than half is slated for minor street repairs.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s 2014 city budget proposal is complete and ready for City Council review, but there is still one big question mark.
The goal of the Orleans Parish Prison Consent Decree is to bring conditions at the notorious city jail into constitutional compliance, but it will not come cheaply. The Landrieu administration believes it will cost about $7 million per year, while Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman has estimated the price tag will be much higher — at $22.5 million per year.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented the proposed 2013 city budget today at a press conference at City Hall. Below is the entire text of his prepared remarks.
Today, I am presenting to the City Council and the people of New Orleans our proposed 2013 budget. All over America cities are struggling to balance their books and New Orleans is no exception. Across the board, costs are rising and we have additional requirements to fund the NOPD consent decree that will make 2013 a very tough budget year.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is reviewing the budget approved after a 12-hour City Council session. Whether he signs it isn't clear. The mayor wanted a tax increase to fill a $24 million budget shortfall. The council instead plugged much of the deficit with the city's disaster loans. Nagin calls the tactic a "financial train wreck."
The council has control of about half the $1.1 billion budget. Federal and state grants make up the rest.