Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer presented his proposed 2024 fiscal year budget to the Fresno City Council on Thursday, coming in as the largest budget in city history by more than $130 million.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway, however, was Dyer’s suspenseful introduction to a yet-to-be-determined trash hauling rate increase for Fresno residents
The big picture: In total, the fiscal year 2024 budget comes in at $1,850,771,100, which includes $480.5 million for the general fund and $866.6 million for Enterprise and Internal Services.
- The remaining $703.7 million comes from special revenue sources such as Measure C, Measure P, debt service and other capital funds.
- The General Fund reserve balance is projected to be fully funded at $45.7 million by the end of fiscal year 2024.
- Dyer also reported that the city’s credit rating was upgraded by all three major credit rating agencies.
What’s in it: Building off previous budgets and a new deal with the Fresno Police Officers Association, Dyer’s proposal funds 900 sworn positions in the police department. That includes 12 new officer positions and eight new dispatch positions.
- Adding to the public safety sector, Dyer is proposing four new positions within the fire department to bring the total number of firefighters to 375.
- Heading over to downtown, Dyer’s proposal includes an additional $1.87 million for clubhouse capital improvements, new lockers and ongoing maintenance at Chukchansi Park. The convention center would receive a $300,000 investment in audio and video equipment upgrades. The budget would also increase security and parking downtown.
- Dyer is proposing the creation of dedicated pothole crews, which would total $1.7 million. The budget also includes the design and construction of 24 new traffic signals and would modify 18 other signals.
- Beautify Fresno, the city’s initiative to improve curb appeal, would receive four Beautify Fresno Teams that would help out existing cleanup operations. The city would also plant 1,000 trees under the plan.
- Dyer proposes using $7.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to replace critical electrical infrastructure that is antiquated and unreliable.
- Advance Peace, the controversial anti-gang violence program, would receive $375,000.
- Dyer’s proposal would also see a new investment in City Hall staff, with 13 new members of the city attorney’s office.
What we’re watching: The budget that Dyer proposed Thursday will not be the end product that is finalized next month.
- Dyer noted that his administration will pursue a spate of utility rate increases for its three major utilities – trash, water, and sewer. The starting point, however, will be an unknown rate hike for residential trash hauling services.
- A quick survey by GV Wire found that at least three members were outright opposed to Dyer’s proposed rate hike, which comes as the Mayor has openly opposed similar rate hike requests to the California Public Utilities Commission by PG&E.
- “We haven’t had a raise since 2009,” Dyer said during Thursday’s proposal. “That’s 14 years — 14 years of increased salaries, 14 years of increased PG&E rates and other inflationary things” City Hall has absorbed.
What they’re saying: Councilman Miguel Arias previewed the oncoming battle between the council and administration.
- “What I’ve heard from staff in the last several months is that the best times in terms of growth and sale and tax revenue is behind us,” Arias said. “But yet your proposed budget recommends a ton of new positions, so I’m going to struggle in this process with reconciling that reality.”