ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan presented her proposed 2023 budget at City Hall Friday morning. The over $217 million proposal includes investments across the board, as well as a slight increase in property taxes.
The budget process comes amidst a number of economic challenges, including inflation and concerns of a recession. Mayor Sheehan’s budget includes a 1.5% increase in property taxes, which would cost each household an estimated $39 a year.
“If we’re going to provide the resources our city residents expect, if we’re going to pickup garbage and fill potholes and fix sidewalks, we have to ensure that we have the resources to do that,” the mayor said. The city is planning on distributing those resources to a variety of areas.
One of the major components of Sheehan’s presentation was the establishment of a new department, the Department of Neighborhood & Community Services. “Our neighborhood specialists will now be assigned to specific neighborhoods, and they will help to be that conduit that is so important among the departments to resolve issues in our neighborhoods,” Sheehan said.
The proposed budget also includes major investments in parks. $2 million is set aside to finalize the site and design for the much-anticipated West Hill Community Center, “West Hill is the most under-resourced neighborhood in the City of Albany and we have to address that,” said Sheehan.
Sites like these will not only hope to provide much-needed resources to communities, but also help in combating the city’s violence, an issue that is on the minds of many in the city. To address this, there is also significant investment in public safety. Funding will be available to improve the Albany Police Department’s IT infrastructure.
“It [the budget] continues to invest in street lights and street cameras to ensure that we are addressing where we’ve heard from businesses they’d like to see more cameras,” the mayor explained.
The city is also primed to receive significant infrastructure investment. These investments include bettering roads and sidewalks, improving pedestrian safety and $15 million to repair the leaking roof at Albany City Hall.