DENVER (KDVR) — From employing more Denver police officers to addressing homelessness, Mayor Michael Hancock has a list of investment priorities for the Mile High City in 2023.
The new proposal calls for the general fund budget to increase to $1.66 billion. The proposal is a 10.9% increase over 2022’s budget. The city plans to pay for the increase based on revenue growth that outpaced expectations.
Denver’s Chief Financial Officer Margaret Danuser said July 2022 revenues outpaced July 2021 revenues by 9.5%, much higher than forecasted. Danuser said the city expects roughly 3.3% revenue growth in 2023, which should cover the increase.
The city plans $154 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. It is the second round of ARPA dollars after allocating the first round of funding last year. That money will go toward various one-time spending initiatives.
Here are some funding highlights from the mayor’s proposal:
Housing Stability and Homelessness Resolution
The mayor proposed $254 million to address homelessness and affordable housing. It would include $77.7 million in ARPA funding, $48.9 million from the Homelessness Resolution Fund and $46.7 million from the Affordable Housing Fund. $35 million would come from general funds.
$20 million would go towards down payment assistance to close homeownership gaps between people of color and white families.
The budget wants to take $10 million from the Homelessness Resolution Fund and use that to bolster capacity at family shelters and more than $40 million ($23.25 million from ARPA) to buy hotels for housing navigation.
Hancock wants to spend $7.8 million to continue Safe Outdoor Sites in Denver.
Stronger Public Safety
Hancock proposed a stronger investment in public safety, including money for training, recruiting more officers and expanding the Denver Police Department’s total officer count.
$1.5 million is proposed for increased and enhanced training for officers and $8.4 million to recruit 188 new police officers to reduce rising crime in the Mile High City.
Hancock wants to increase the number of uniformed Denver police officers by 43 to a total of 1,639 men and women in uniform.
Addressing Behavioral Health
The mayor wants to spend $36.5 million of ARPA dollars to expand services in the Mile High City. He proposed taking $20 million of that funding to expand a behavioral health provider network to improve availability and invest in telehealth and other approaches to unique treatment delivery.
His proposal would take $1.6 million for youth mental health support and $1.5 million to fund out-of-school-time programming.
Hancock proposed a nearly $700,000 investment in a new public health hot spot program, that will target communities that experience higher rates of drug overdoses, encampments and violence.
You can learn more about Hancock’s proposal on FOX31 NOW in the player above.