Syracuse, N.Y. - Mayor Ben Walsh's nearly 265 million dollar 2022 budge, contains many things, some old some new.
It restores city services to pre-pandemic levels and will make investments into housing equality, public safety, schools, and parks and recreation programs. It does not include a property tax hike for city residents.
The mayor also announced that City pools will be open this summer.
He also announced the creation of the new High-Occupancy Monitoring and Enforcement (HOME) Unit.
Its a multi-department city team charged with proactive monitoring and enforcement of housing conditions in large residential complexes. The unit will include representatives from Codes, Police, Fire, Law and Neighborhood and Business Development. Their goal is to enforce provisions that protect tenant health, safety and well-being; improving the quality of existing affordable housing; developing new safe housing initiatives; and help both tenants and landlords in need of assistance.
Walsh said "This budget brings relief to residents as we manage the continued impact of COVID-19 on city finances"
The budget and capital plan also includes:
- Code enforcement staffing for housing quality, lead enforcement and rental registry compliance
- Investments in the City’s information technology, digital infrastructure and cybersecurity
- A new Environmental Services Division in DPW with additional dedicated litter pickup staffing
- Staffing in anticipation of a municipal sidewalk maintenance program
- A public information officer to support the increased activity and need for public communication and resident engagement within Public Works, Engineering, Planning, and Water departments
- Purchase of outdoor recreation equipment for “pop up” family events at city waterways
- Installation of a new playground at Grace Massena Park on the west side
- Creation of the City’s first natural playground at Onondaga Geddes play lot, using natural materials collected by the City’s Forestry Bureau and constructed by city carpenters
- Continuing centralization of city finance services with the integration of Water Finance into the City Payment Center
- Improving access and timeliness of responses to Freedom of Information Law requests