Mayor’s Proposed Budgets Focus On Public Safety, Jobs, Recreation, Streets, Housing, Quality Of Life

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented the proposed operating and capital budgets for 2018 to the New Orleans City Council Monday, July 31, at City Hall, 1300 Perdido St.

         City reps said the $647 million proposed operating budget is completely balanced and continues to invest in top priorities, including public safety, job creation, recreation, streets, housing and quality of life, while delivering high quality services for New Orleans residents. 

         “Coming into office over seven years ago, we were forced to make some difficult decisions to begin rebuilding our city,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Working closely with the City Council, we have achieved unparalleled success and New Orleans has become the nation’s greatest comeback story. We were $97 million in the hole and facing old legacy costs, but with a clear strategy and close budget monitoring, we now have the highest credit-rating in New Orleans’ history and a new confidence in our city. Stabilizing and better managing the budget has allowed us to focus resources on top priorities. The 2018 budget will maintain many of the things outlined in the 2017 budget to continue this city on the path to success and prosperity. We will continue to focus on your priorities including public safety, job creation, recreation, streets, housing and quality of life. We remain committed to making progress and building on the fiscal successes we have already made. This is more than a budget. It is a roadmap to building the city of our dreams. And because of our hard work and dedication, the next mayor and City Council of New Orleans will take over a stronger, more prosperous city.”

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         When the Landrieu administration took office in May 2010, it inherited a $97 million deficit. Since then, with the help of the City Council and residents’ input, Mayor Landrieu created structural reforms that put the city on sound financial footing and has balanced the budget every year by cutting, reorganizing, investing in citizen’s priorities and growing, city reps said.

         In July 2017, Mayor Landrieu hosted Telephone Town Hall meetings as part of the budgeting process. More than 3,400 residents listened, and many provided valuable input that helped to ensure alignment between citizen priorities and the proposed budget.

         City reps said Mayor Landrieu’s presentation outlined the following:

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• Increase funding for NOPD to hire another 150 police officers and implement targeted pay increases to improve retention efforts

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• Increase civilian social workers and civilian investigators for sexual assault cases

• $6.5 million will be allocated to fund the consent decree between the City and the U.S. Department of Justice to completely transform NOPD

• Continue funding for the NOLA FOR LIFE Murder Reduction Strategy

• Allocate funds to support increased security at public facilities and the newly established command center in the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

• Increase funding to support the Information Technology & Innovation department which funds enterprise systems stabilization and disaster recovery preparedness

• Increase funding for the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) and the NOFD pension settlement

• Increase funding for Emergency Medical Services to provide additional, critical paramedics and EMTs and to improve response time and address opioid epidemic

• Additional funds in the Equipment Maintenance Division of the Chief Administrative Office to support critical staffing and maintenance needs to reduce down-time of public safety vehicles

• Increase funding for the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite & Rodent Control Board to support additional staff and materials to combat the Zika virus

• Allocate funding for continued stability of the Youth Study Center and to support critical staff and operational needs




• Prioritize money for enforcing minimum wage for city employees and contractors, and our local hiring policy

• Increase funding to support workforce development internships for high school students through YouthForce NOLA

• Allocate funding for the Office of Supplier Diversity to meet and exceed DBE goals

• Continue funding the NOLA Business Alliance to attract jobs and retail


Streets and Infrastructure

• $421 million investment in Capital Budget for street, drainage, water and sewer construction alone


Quality of Life

• Fund support of sustainable communities that integrate quality housing, transportation, schools, commercial development, energy efficiency, parks and green space, flood protection, and cultural assets

• Fund the Department of Safety & Permits to support a state-mandated coastal zone manager position and two critical storm water inspectors

• Fund the replacement of Office of Resilience and Sustainability grant funds that support the core budget of the office

• Support the Department of Property Management in operating costs of the newly transferred former VA Hospital complex

• Increase funding in the Office of Community Development to support the operations of the low-barrier homeless shelter

• Increase funding for the Department of Public Works to support additional pedestrian safety interventions

• Increase funding for NORDC to support the operations of additional facilities opening in 2018

• Allocate funding for the City’s Equity Office so that city departments and leaders have the resources they need to ensure an equitable government

• $20 million for new and rollover investments in the city’s affordable housing initiatives

• Additional $5 million for city judgments and settlements



• Finalized a historic $2 billion settlement with FEMA for repairs to roads and sewerage and drainage infrastructure. Our 2018-2022 capital budget is set at over $1.9 billion and includes hundreds of street projects

• Fund street repairs for next few years through a bond measure residents passed that won’t raise taxes but will free up nearly $100 million for these repairs

• Set City’s fund balance at $56 million to end 2018. The fund balance is one of the primary reasons the city has received major credit rating upgrades in recent years

• Allocate funding to institutionalize our workforce training, small business growth and black male unemployment reduction initiatives at NOLA Business Alliance

• Propose Rainy Day Fund to set aside 5 percent of the general fund for cases of emergency


         Mayor Landrieu said, “I look forward to working with the City Council and hearing more from residents so that we can adopt a balanced budget that keeps New Orleans on the path to success. Just as thousands of you participated in our Telephone Town Halls, I encourage you to engage in the upcoming budget hearings for city departments and agencies in the City Council chambers over the coming weeks. Over 2,600 days ago, I was elected to turn the city around by putting our fiscal house back in order and getting our recovery back on track. This budget delivers on that promise, helps us to build on the progress we’ve made, and lays a stronger foundation for the future.  As we look to the city’s 300th anniversary, we have worked hard to prepare a budget that seeks to help secure our success for the next 300 years.”


         View the proposed 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets, presentations and Mayor Landrieu's prepared 2018 budget remarks here


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