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Council Passes 2013-4 City Budget

On November 21 the City Council approved the 2013 City of Seattle budget, and endorsed the 2014 budget.

After a number of very difficult budget years requiring extensive cuts, there has been a measure of economic recovery. However, growth in tax revenue remains well below pre-recession levels, highlighting the need for continued sound fiscal management. This budget represents a balanced and fiscally sustainable City package.

I serve as chair of the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee, and I worked to ensure we created a human services package to enhance care for our community’s most vulnerable members.

In addition, the budget adopted by the Council supports funds to hire additional police officers, enhancements for more reliable bus service, and more road repairs.

On the following pages you will find a list of highlights of additions the City Council made to the Mayor’s proposed 2013-4 budget.

Human Services and Housing

Below is a summary of the Council’s successful work to amend the Mayor’s proposed budget to add an additional $1,660,000 in 2013 and $2,230,000 in 2014 for direct human services funding.

I’m pleased that the Council created a human services package to enhance care for our community’s most vulnerable members.  In particular, it’s critical that – as part of that package – we’ll increase shelter capacity for the nearly 2,000 people sleeping outside without access to basic shelter as well as increasing day services for people spending the night in shelters that are closed during the day. Shelter and day services programs not only address critical survival needs, but they also serve as outreach centers for those needing healthcare, case management and a connection back to a supportive community.

Many thanks go out to the Seattle Human Services Coalition, the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness, King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Meals Partnership Coalition. The advocacy of these effective coalitions plays a critical role in convincing the Council to shape public policy in a way that addresses basic human needs.

Here’s the Human Services Budget Package breakdown:

For homeless women, men, and families:

  • Rapid Rehousing for homeless people ($200,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Funding for additional shelter services ($100,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Funding for additional women’s shelter ($50,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Funding for homeless day-center services including hygiene in downtown neighborhoods ($200,000 in 2013/2014)

For domestic violence and sexual assault survivors:

  • Additional legal assistance for domestic violence survivors ($50,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Another advocate for immigrant domestic violence survivors ($45,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Bilingual services for domestic violence survivors ($60,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Medical advocacy for sexual assault survivors ($75,000 in 2013/2014)

For individuals and families needing food security:

  • Increased bulk food purchasing for food banks ($150,000 in 2013/2014)
  • Bulk food purchasing for the meal provider system ($50,000 in 2013/2014)

For seniors:

  • Increased funding for outreach to home-bound seniors ($150,000 in 2013/2014)

For first-time moms living in poverty:

Full evaluation of the Youth Violence Prevention Program ($300,000, 2013)

Public Safety

  • Added funding for emphasis patrols ($1 million in 2013)
  • Increased funding to hire new officers ($1.57 million in 2014)
  • Accelerated replacement of the SPD North Precinct from 2019 to 2016

Streets:

  • Added $2 million for street maintenance and repairs (2014)

Transit: 

  • Reprioritized 2013 funding  for high priority bus corridors in 2013
  • Approved funding for Ballard corridor planning; most of funding for planning comes from agreement with Sound Transit
  • Approved funding for Madison Rapid Bus Study
  • Passed a statement of legislative intent requesting SDOT to work with King County Metro to pursue federal and state grants to accelerate development of the Madison Street priority bus corridor, and expand the City’s electric trolley bus network
  • Delayed Eastlake corridor planning to 2014, which would be in time for any Sound Transit ballot measure
  • Funded a transit reliability study for SR 520 ($60,000, 2013)
  • Dedicated funding for studying a central connector; federal funds are already obtained

Bicycle/Pedestrian:

  • Directed funding to Ballard Greenway ($1.27 million 2013),
  • Delridge Greenway ($625,000, 2013), to a
  • Downtown Cycle Track ($1 million total, split 2013/4), and to
  • the West Seattle Lower Bridge Trail
  • Funded for bike and pedestrian access study for 520 project ($160,000, 2013)

Sustainability, Land Use

  • Added $500,000 for Green Seattle Partnership for 2013 and 2014
  • Funded Disaster Recovery planning, $200,000 for 2013 and 2014
  • Added funding for Design Commission and Historical Preservation

Economic, Neighborhoods

  • Funded Career Bridge program, $50,000 for 2013 and 2014
  • Added $406,000 funding for taxi inspectors
  • Funded Little Saigon site study

Arts

  • Added a part-time arts and cultural development liaison in the City’s arts office.
  • Added capital funding for cultural and arts facilities.

Parks

  • Provided $50,000 to maintain Chinatown/ID Community Center hours in 2013; requested Parks Dpt. adjust spending within Magnolia sector to continue current hours at Magnolia Community Center; and asked Parks Dpt. to report to Council next year on usage at all community centers.
  • Restored, but left unfunded, the gardener position cut by the Mayor at Volunteer Park Conservatory. If revenues raised by the Conservatory are sufficient, the position could be reinstated late 2013.

Technology

  • Added $95,000 to Technology Matching Fund to maintain this year’s level of $320,000 in 2013 and 2014. The fund supports digital literacy, access and civic engagement projects in underserved communities.

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