San Diego’s $4.3B budget funds infrastructure repairs, expands ‘Clean SD’
Shared By Francine Finn| Scott Finn & Associates
Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined on June 20 by City Councilmember Vivian Moreno to officially sign the fiscal year 2020 budget that significantly expands the “Clean SD” program to remove trash and debris from communities across the city.
With cleanup crews clearing trash from a dead-end street known for illegal dumping, Faulconer touted expanding the program citywide, including the hiring of a second shift of crews and enacting litter removal on a 24/7 basis. Faulconer more than doubled funding for the program by adding $6.5 million to its budget – for a total of more than $10 million annually in cleanup efforts.
The $4.3 billion budget – approved by the City Council last week – also funds the largest infrastructure investment in City history while directing more funding toward homelessness, housing reforms, climate action and road repair.
Initially launched in May 2017, the “Clean SD” program is an aggressive cleanup effort to keep our neighborhoods, public spaces, canyons and riverbeds free and clear of trash and debris. City and Urban Corps crews respond to complaints received through the City’s Get It Done application, and have removed litter from “hotspots” in Ocean Beach, City Heights, San Ysidro, Logan Heights, Paradise Hills, Webster & Mount Hope, Mission Beach, Point Loma and Pacific Beach – neighborhoods with a historically high level of illegal dumping activity.
In partnership with the San Diego River Park Foundation, the City has also targeted land along the San Diego River. The City only owns about one-third of the property along the river with the other two-thirds being privately-held by several businesses and other government agencies. Cleanup efforts along the river reduced the number of homeless encampments by 90 percent.
The “Clean SD” initiative also includes canyons to help reduce the risk of wildfires and materials that could cause them to spread more easily after they spark. Since its inception, crews have already removed over 3,600 tons of debris, including:
• 7,200 mattresses and box springs;
• 2,100 shopping carts;
• 900 tires;
• 550 appliances.
Other “Clean SD” efforts include:
• Increased street sweeping in the East Village neighborhood;
• Sanitizing sidewalks in downtown and other neighborhoods;
• Prioritizing graffiti removal requests;
• Organizing community cleanups that collected more than 1,000 tons of waste and debris from San Diego neighborhoods in 2018;
• Holding the City’s annual cleanup event at SDCCU Stadium – with more than 140 tons of waste and recyclables collected in a single day.
“We’re restoring pride back in our neighborhoods with every cleanup job, and now we’re investing more resources into ‘Clean SD’ so we can do even more for our communities,” Faulconer said. “San Diegans deserve nothing less than to have clean and safe public spaces to enjoy and this budget delivers on that commitment in a big way for neighborhood residents.
Other budget highlights include:
• Fiscally responsible budgeting: Fully funding General Fund reserves to policy targets and making $350.6 million annual pension payment in full for 16th consecutive year.
• Largest Capital Improvement Program in City history: $710.4 million.
• Street repair: $79.9 million to pave, repair and replace 430 miles of roads – putting the City on track to fix half of its nearly 3,000-mile street network during Faulconer’s tenure.
• Homeless services: $36.7 million for homelessness solutions and programs, including Bridge Shelters, interim housing programs, multifamily rehabilitation, Safe Parking Program sites, storage facilities, new Housing Navigation Center, rental assistance, and youth-serving homeless programs –
◦ $9.9 million from General Fund and Low to Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund;
◦ $12.7 million from Community Development Block Grants;
◦ $14.1 million from the State’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program through FY2021.
• Climate Action Plan implementation: Over $350 million in projects and programs.
• Public safety:
◦ $8.4 million to continue with four academies of police recruits;
◦ $3.5 million for additional patrols by the Neighborhood Policing Division;
◦ $2.6 million for a relief pool division, two additional fire academies, a lifeguard academy, helicopter maintenance and pilot training, diversity training and a dedicated bomb squad unit;
◦ $250,000 for a police recruitment housing pilot program.
• Mobility and Traffic Improvements: $14.3 million to improve infrastructure and bring new mobility choices to neighborhoods to meet the City’s Climate Action Plan and Vision Zero goals.
◦ $11.9 million for projects to support Vision Zero safety goals, including bike facilities, sidewalks, traffic signals, crosswalks and traffic calming measures;
◦ $2.4 million for mobility programs and infrastructure projects supported by dockless mobility device fees.
• Libraries: Maintaining library hours at the highest level in a decade.
• $345,000 to operate two new libraries (Mission Hills/Hillcrest and San Ysidro).
• Parks: Maintaining recreation center hours at the highest level in a decade.
• $1.6 million for operations and maintenance for five new facilities/open space in the Parks and Recreation Department (North Park Mini Park, East Fortuna Staging Area Field Station, and three joint-use parks with San Diego Unified).
• Housing: $600,000 for fee waivers for accessory dwelling units, also known as granny flats, and $100,000 for the Housing Affordability Program.
• Arts & Culture: $14.3 million to maintain arts and culture funding at FY2019 levels minus 3 percent consistent with citywide reductions.
• Equal Opportunity: $1 million to conduct the City’s first disparity study to review the City’s practices of hiring women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and other companies that reflect San Diego’s diversity.
• Other Highlights:
◦ Brush management, $1.9 million;
◦ Graffiti abatement, $300,000;
◦ Compensation equity study, $250,000;
◦ Public Records Act program support, $150,000.
The budget sets spending for city operations and capital projects for fiscal year 2020, which runs from July 1 through June 30, 2020.
Read more: San Diego Community News Group
Written by: SD News
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