Date: October 1, 2021
Contact: David Galin
Mayor Sheehan Proposes Allocating $25 Million from American Rescue Plan to Fund a Limited Number of Highly Impactful Programs That Can Produce Profound Results
Budget Provides Framework for Building Back Better and Creating an Albany for All – Powered by Pride and Potential
ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan presented her 2022 Proposed City Budget – a budget for city residents that makes historic investments in streets & sidewalks, parks, sanitation, code enforcement, water & sewer infrastructure, public safety, sustainability, and the city’s workforce. Mayor Sheehan also proposed allocating $25 million from American Rescue Plan to fund a limited number of highly impactful programs that can produce profound results. This budget proposal provides a framework for building back better and creating an Albany for all – powered by pride and potential.
Mayor Sheehan’s 2022 Proposed City Budget:
Is a budget designed for our residents:
- $8 million+ in streets & sidewalks – 25% increase from 2021
- $1.2 million for Lincoln Park North Gateway & restoring North Woods Forest
- Revitalizing 3 playgrounds – Krank, Washington, and Colby (Phase II) Parks
- New DGS employees to collect trash, fix streets, clean parks, and trim trees
- New Codes employees to inspect buildings
- Investing in the City’s most valuable asset: its workforce
- 3% across-the-board non-union raises
- Negotiated 2% raises with Police Supervisors, Communications, APD Non-Sworn, Firefighters, DGS Supervisors, Teamsters, and School Crossing Guard Unions
- Currently negotiating contract extensions with our Blue Collar Union and Operating Engineers
- Proud to announce the certification of the PBA this week that will allow the City of Albany to negotiate with its Police Officers Union
Makes critical investments in public safety:
- $250,000+ speed hump pilot in West Hill & the South End
- Implements Albany Policing Reform Collaborative Recommendations:
- New Public Safety Commissioner who will adjudicate discipline, re-write APD General Orders, oversee the hiring process, and report directly to Mayor Sheehan
- New APD victim advocates & data analyst to better serve our residents, allow officers to directly connect crime victims to people who can help address their needs and trauma, and provide data and more transparency to our community about arrests, police stops, and other information
- Revitalized Marine 1, new SCBA & cardiac monitors
Leads through sustainability:
- New Director of Sustainability to ensure we are meeting our climate targets, installing new EV chargers, purchasing new EV vehicles, and overseeing the continued maintenance of our LED streetlights alongside our Energy Manager
- New City Arborist to create a comprehensive plan for our 10,000-plus street trees and work alongside our City Forester to continue to plant 2,025 new trees by 2025 and ensure the viability of our urban forest for generations to come
- 9th Consecutive Year of record investments in Water & Sewer Infrastructure to improve resiliency and capacity – more than in the 20 previous years combined
- Continued investments to help fund removal of Lead Services
Creates an Albany for all, built on pride and potential:
- Allocates $25 million from the American Rescue Plan to fund five priority areas identified by the City of Albany’s COVID Recovery Task Force:
- $4 million to support the public health response
- $7 million for education, workforce, and human services
- $8 million for housing, transportation, and community revitalization
- $3 million for small business support
- $3 million for tourism, travel, hospitality, and the arts
When Mayor Sheehan learned of President Biden’s commitment to helping cities reverse the unprecedented impact of the COVID crisis, she knew how important it would be to listen to the needs of the City’s residents, businesses, community organizations, and neighborhoods. That is why Mayor Sheehan convened a diverse group of 41 volunteer COVID Recovery Task Force members, led by Michael Whalen and Jahkeen Hoke, to undertake a needs assessment and create a concise and strategic course of action.
The Task Force launched a robust engagement plan that included two public surveys garnering more than 1,000 responses, more than 60 direct meetings with community members and stakeholder groups, and 17 task force and working group meetings. The result is a 76-page report that provides a framework for recovery and strongly recommends funding a limited number of highly impactful programs that can produce profound results.
The City of Albany in the process of retaining an outside firm to assist with compliance and oversight and will be issuing requests for proposals to fund projects within each priority area. The City will require applications from both internal and external stakeholders to ensure it is investing in scalable projects and programs that maximize resources and expenditures – and this will be done through the lens of inclusion and equity and with an eye toward stimulating entrepreneurship and outside investments. More information regarding next steps in the American Rescue Plan funding allocation process will be announced in the coming weeks.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “2021 has been another year with unprecedented challenges, and COVID-19 continues to test our City in ways like never before. Last year, faced with a multimillion-dollar revenue shortfall, I proposed a budget that fully funded city services, reduced my salary to the City’s minimum living wage, and fought for federal fiscal relief so we could continue to provide critical services to our residents without having to make painful, draconian cuts to our workforce. Those decisions have placed us in a strong financial position as we continue to combat this pandemic.
“For the second consecutive year, our workforce doubled down on their commitment to each of you. Without fail, DGS continued to pick up trash and recycling. APD and AFD continued to respond to emergency calls for service. We once again opened our pools and spray pads, and continued our award-winning Summer Youth Employment Program. We continued to provide safe drinking water and we continued to cite building code violators. And our City Hall staff continued to work tirelessly to ensure our frontline employees had the resources they needed to fulfill their mission. Our workforce continues to risk their lives for our community, and I am so deeply grateful and proud of each of them.
“Thankfully, because of our hard work and advocacy together with cities across the country, Congress passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and provided Albany with $80.7 million in COVID recovery funds desperately needed to replace lost revenues and help our community recover from the impacts of this pandemic.
“We are determined to build back better and create an Albany for all, built on pride and potential - and this budget will do just that.”