Wheeler reveals details of $7.1 billion 2024 city budget
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has released details of his $7.1 billion budget proposal for the 2024 fiscal year.
“Last year I put forth a budget that invested in healing and building for the future of Portland,” said Wheeler. “This year, my proposed budget builds on that foundation, implementing the bold change Portlanders have called for within their city government and in their community.”
In a video statement, released Thursday with the proposed budget, Wheeler stated that his main priorities would coincide with concerns of Portland residents: Homelessness, public safety, economic recovery, and livability.
“Portland continues to experience rampant rates of unsheltered homelessness across the city,” said Wheeler. “Unsheltered Portlanders continue to live in unsafe and unhygienic conditions, with many suffering from untreated substance use disorders and mental health issues generally.”
The proposed budget would allocate $43.3 million towards the continuing operations of hundreds of congregate shelter beds through the Joint Office of Homeless Services, with additional funding going towards expanding the Street Services Coordination Center.
Mayor Wheeler said he wants the city to continue “to provide resources to get folks off the streets and into temporary, safe, alternative shelter sites and connected to resources that can help people quickly get off and stay off the streets”.
Portland Fire & Rescue would receive nearly $175 million in the proposed budget.
“Portland Street Response is fully funded within this budget to maintain its current service level,” said Wheeler. “And I’m reinstating Portland Fire & Rescue’s Rapid Response Vehicle Program, which primarily serves East Portland on a one year basis.”
The Portland Police Bureau would see just over $261 million, with money going towards recruiting more officers, stolen vehicle recovery, and partnering with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on retail and vehicle theft task forces that were announced earlier this week.
“Our rates of gun violence incidents are on a downward trend,” said Wheeler. “While we’re encouraged by that progress, we are continuing to invest in programs that help keep our communities safe and ensure offenders are held accountable for their actions. As part of my stated goal to hire 300 new police officers over a three year period, I’ve released funding for 43 new sworn officer positions. We are on track to achieve the 300 personnel goal as we are ten months into this work, we have already hired over 120 positions.”
Economic Recovery & Livability
“I created the Impact Reduction Program, as well as the Public Environment Management Office, otherwise known as PEMO, to ramp up trash collection and graffiti abatement efforts all across the city of Portland,” said Wheeler. “Community members expressed incredible support for the work of these programs and the additional resources we invested last year. My proposed budget maintains that elevated level of investment with our Impact Reduction Program and continues our partnership with SOLVE, to lead neighborhoods clean ups citywide.”
The proposed budget would see $21.7 million going towards these programs, $400,000 going towards SOLVE, and $2.0 million in new funding to increase capacity for derelict RV enforcement and towing.
$800,000 in new funding would go towards existing grant programs for small business stabilization and local events. The budget would also continue funding decorative lighting to enhance areas of the city.
“And finally, I am proposing to rebuild and reinstall the Thompson Elk to it’s natural habitat,” said Wheeler. “This statue is a symbol of Portland’s healing and recovery, especially in the heart of downtown.”
The full proposed budget can be found here: City of Portland Proposed Budget Book.book
There are several upcoming events where Portland residents can provide input to the budget proposal:
• Tuesday, May 9, 9:30am-11:30am – Council Budget Work Session
• Thursday, May 11, 6:30pm-8:30pm – Public Hearing on Mayor’s Proposed Budget. Participation information is available here as sign-up is in advancebusing the Zoom online registration form.
The city notes: Council will participate virtually this evening, though the CityvBudget Office has an in-person location for the community members to have the option of providing testimony using a live remote platform (Zoom) or by viewing the meeting at Portland Building, Room 108, located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204.
• Wednesday, May 17, 2:00pm-5:00pm– Council Convenes as Budget Committee to Approve Mayor’s Proposed Budget. Information for participation in regular Council Agenda items is located on Council Clerk’s website.
• Wednesday, May 24, 2:00-5:00pm – First Reading Utility Rate Hearing
• Wednesday, May 31, Second Reading on the Utility Rate Hearing Approval (Second Reading - no public testimony)
• Tuesday, June 13, 9:30am-11:00am– Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission Hearing on the Approved Budget
• Wednesday, June 14, 2:00-5:00pm – Council Convenes to Adopt Budget Hearing (First Reading)
• Wednesday, June 21 – Adopt Budget (Second Reading - no public testimony) Written Comments
Portlanders may also submit written comments to Council at any time by filling out the budget comment form or by emailing BudgetComment@portlandoregon.gov.
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