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Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan Presents 2020 Proposed City Budget

October 01, 2019

Date: October 1, 2019
Contact: David Galin
(518) 434-5100

For Immediate Release

ALBANY, NY - Today at City Hall, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan presented her proposed 2020 budget to the Common Council and the residents of Albany. This budget emphasizes Mayor Sheehan’s continued commitment to fiscal responsibility while focusing on improving the quality of life for Albany’s residents.

“My budget builds upon my administration’s mission of creating a fiscally sustainable future for our City,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “We continue to develop innovative ways to improve the quality of life for our residents, implement 21st century enhancements to the delivery of City services, and work assiduously to transform Albany into a city where every neighborhood works.”

Highlights of the 2020 proposed budget include:

Holding the line on spending and investing in our people by growing only approximately one-and-one-quarter percent (1.25%) over last year
  • Since taking office, Mayor Sheehan’s budgets have grown less than two percent (1.87%) over the past six years combined – including consecutive annual budget decreases in 2017 and 2018.
  • Mayor Sheehan’s administration achieved those accomplishments while stabilizing the City’s A+ credit rating, reducing the City’s fiscal stress score by more than 31%, settling 15 expired union contracts, and providing across-the-board raises totaling 4% for all non-union City employees over the last three years.
Revitalizing Our City’s Infrastructure with a Focus on Equity
  • While fiscal responsibility is critical, it is also important to focus on improving the quality of life for Albany’s residents. That’s why this budget includes a $7.5 million commitment to reconstruct streets and sidewalks across the City – a $2 million increase from the 2019 budget.
  • This budget also includes an investment of approximately $7 million to fund several transformative projects as part of Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative – investments that are backed by more than $5 million in reimbursable state grants.
  • The Albany Water Department plans to invest more than $13 million in stormwater and sewer infrastructure improvements across the City to help combat the heavy-rain events that have become the new normal.
Strengthening our Commitment to Park Revitalization and Recreational Opportunities
  • Neighborhoods are stronger when they have safe places for children to play and for people of all ages to enjoy. 
  • Since taking office, Mayor Sheehan’s administration has revitalized 16 parks across the City, and this budget expands on that commitment by allocating funds to revitalize several playgrounds in the South End and West Hill neighborhoods, and includes $1 million to implement improvements in Lincoln Park that were recommended as part of that park’s Master Plan;
  • This budget further invests in our parks by expanding the capacity of the Department of General Services to assume responsibility of all park maintenance in the City – discontinuing a decades-long practice of sharing park maintenance between DGS and the Department of Recreation. This reorganization will help reduce redundancies, ensure consistent upkeep of public spaces, and improve quality of life throughout the City.
Improving Service Delivery Across City Departments
  • In order to meet residents’ expectations, it must be easy to access City services.
  • That is why this budget includes a new senior staff position: Chief of Operations. This City official will report directly to Mayor Sheehan and be tasked with assessing and leading the improvement of performance and service delivery within City government – all with the goal of improving constituent satisfaction with City services.
  • This budget also includes an allocation to build-out a new training facility that will allow the Albany Police Department to significantly increase the number of police recruits in future academy classes.
Ensuring Albany Receives Its Fair Share – Permanently
  • In 2019, Mayor Sheehan was successful in securing $12 million in unrestricted Capital City Funding – necessary aid that was not a spin up, allowing the City to avoid borrowing against its future.
  • Mayor Sheehan continues to make a unique, compelling, and indisputable case to State leaders that Albany is treated like no other city in the State, receiving far less unrestricted aid than the City deserves while supporting a staggering 64% of non-taxable property – nearly 60% of which is owned by New York State.
  • This budget again includes $12.5 million in Capital City Funding, which Mayor Sheehan will relentlessly fight to make permanent.
Ensuring Albany Counts
  • In order for Albany to truly receive its fair share, we also must ensure every person counts.
  • Billions of dollars in federal aid will be distributed based on the results of the 2020 Census, and Albany is in a prime position to eclipse its goal of 100,000 residents counted – a benchmark that would come with additional state and federal funding opportunities for integral programs like Head Start, road repair grants, and workforce training programs.
  • This budget emphasizes the vital importance of the 2020 Census by committing $50,000 for outreach and marketing that will be directly managed by Mayor Sheehan’s office.
“Over the past six years, my administration has fulfilled my pledge to serve the residents of Albany by ensuring responsive City government, equitably improving our neighborhoods, pursuing essential economic development, and fostering sound fiscal management,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “This budget is, once again, a direct reflection of that pledge at work.”