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Atlanta mayor proposes largest budget in city’s history

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Atlanta mayor proposes largest budget in city’s history

Atlanta City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Patrick Quinn, Atlanta News First

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens released his proposed 2023-2024 budget.

The proposed $790 million General Fund budget is the largest in the city’s history.

Dickens outlined an increase in policing, affordable housing, and a sustained commitment to youth development among his highest priorities.

“This budget is our statement of intent to double down on the progress we have made and our commitment to making Atlanta the best place in the nation to raise a child,” said Dickens.

Among the highlights of the Mayor’s budget:

More than $8 million dedicated to the affordable housing trust fund, exceeding last year’s contribution by more than 15 percent;

— A combined $6.2 million to purchase vehicles and equipment for our police and fire personnel, including expansion of our take-home car program that helps recruit and retain police officers;

— $10 million toward continued premium pay and implementing a citywide cost-of-living adjustment for the second year in a row;

— More than $1.25 million in new technology to support innovation across the City;

— The establishment of Atlanta’s first-ever Department of Labor and Employment Services, delivering on a commitment to invest in workers and business growth; and

— $10 million in capital improvements, to ensure that our City facilities match the caliber of the employees who work in them and the constituents we serve from them.

The proposed budget also calls for continued youth investments across the city during Atlanta’s Year of the Youth, including:

— $1.8 million in operations of our At-Promise Youth Centers;

— $2 million in youth programming in the Department of Parks & Recreation;

— $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for summer youth employment;

— Additional youth-centered investments across all City service areas.

His budget also calls for a five percent increase in the budget of the Atlanta Police Department, but there were no specific investments in the controversial public safety training center.

However, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office said those budget arrangements will be introduced to the City Council this summer.

“In December 2021, the Atlanta City Council authorized the Chief Financial Officer to identify funding sources for the City’s share of the construction of the Public Safety Training Center,” wrote a spokesperson in an email to Atlanta News First. “We expect to engage the City Council in this discussion and legislative process this summer,” the spokesperson said.

The public will have many opportunities to weigh in on the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

The Atlanta City Council now has until June to listen to public comments surrounding the budget before it must be approved.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget covers the period July 2023 through June 2024. Read full details of the budget proposal here.

Copyright 2023 WANF. All rights reserved.

Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story.