Tacoma City Manager T. C. Broadnax this week outlined the details of a $3 billion biennial budget that aims to maintain current service levels, direct more money toward repairing and maintaining Tacoma’s streets, and complete a range of capital improvement projects. The $3 billion budget proposal directs nearly $425 million to the City of Tacoma’s General Fund, which supports the majority of traditional services associated with city government.
“The 2015-2016 Proposed Biennial Budget was developed with a distinct focus on what our community has said it wants, and is a framework for how we plan to deploy City resources to help realize these community priorities,” said Broadnax, who presented the plan to Tacoma City Council during a public meeting Tuesday afternoon at Tacoma City Hall.
Budget proposal highlights include approximately $12 million to improve the City’s infrastructure needs; approximately $2.6 million for a dedicated permanent pothole repair crew; approximately $3 million for sidewalk, pedestrian, and trail improvements; approximately $2.8 million to address fleet maintenance for Tacoma Police Department, Tacoma Fire Department, and Tacoma Public Works vehicles; and approximately $1.4 million for maintenance and facility improvements at the Tacoma Dome and Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center. According to Broadnax, the City of Tacoma plans to leverage approximately $2.3 million in infrastructure improvement spending to secure an additional $19 million in grants from federal and state sources.
The budget proposal also maintains existing Tacoma Police Department and Tacoma Fire Department service levels, includes no reduction to fire station or police department staffing levels, and fully funds firefighters and police officers that will no longer be funded through federal SAFER and COPS grants by updating fees for Tacoma Fire Department-related services. The proposed budget also includes funding that aims to revitalize local neighborhoods and business districts, support development opportunities for local companies, retain and attract new business, and create jobs for the community, as well as support revitalization and streetscape improvements in key corridors and business districts. The budget proposal also allows Tacoma Public Library staff to purchase Radio Frequency Identification tags for all libraries, software that interfaces with the current integrated library system, and one self-check station and security gates for the Main Library.
The City of Tacoma will host the following public meetings this month to discuss the budget with Tacoma residents:
- Mon., Oct. 13, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Evergreen Community College, 1210 6th Ave.;
- Weds., Oct. 22, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26th St.;
- Thurs., Oct. 30, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Lincoln High School, 701 S. 37th St.
More information about the City of Tacoma 2015-2016 Proposed Biennial Budget is available online here.