NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Norfolk’s city manager unveiled his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year.
10 On Your Side’s Liz Kilmer sat down with Marcus Jones ahead of Tuesday night’s presentation. Jones said his proposal reflects a prosperous trend in the city of Norfolk.
The $1.2 billion budget is structurally balanced, and is his third consecutive balanced budget. Five years ago, there was a $30 million budget gap.
“This budget represents a journey we started five years ago,” Jones said. “Today, we are building on the trust of our citizens and celebrating the community partners who stepped up to work with us.”
The proposed general fund budget is $831 million, which is 2.3 percent above the previous budget.
There are no proposed tax increases, but for a nickel increase on the cigarette tax, to be used for economic development.
Full-time city employees will receive a two percent raise.
Highlights of the proposed 2017 budget include $30 million for neighborhood improvements such as:
• pedestrian-friendly improvements (sidewalks, crosswalks, ADA accessible ramps)
• additional Norfolk Cares Call Center staff
• increase access to Ocean View beaches and restroom improvements
• city-wide dredging and waterway improvements
There are additional funds for Norfolk Public Schools, but only a fraction of the $10 million requested by the division. Jones said the city’s contribution will ensure every teacher receives a salary increase.
The proposed 2017 budget will also energize and connect citizens to free Wi-Fi at MacArthur Square and Town Point Park.
The public has an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed 2017 budget during two public hearings at Granby High School both beginning at 6:00 p.m. On May 4, general comments are welcome. On May 5, the hearing will be focused on property assessment comments.
City council will vote on the budget May 24.