Two-year plan will prioritize housing, safety, transportation, and climate change
On June 20, City Council approved a budget for fiscal years (FY) 2023–24 and 2024–25, totaling nearly $688 million over the two years. The budget invests in Council-identified priorities, including housing all Alamedans, enhancing community safety and climate change resilience, investing in transportation and infrastructure, and practicing fiscally responsible and inclusive governance.
Background and budget priority areas
The City is in a financially strong position due to a significant residual fund balance and stable property tax revenues. The City’s operating revenues fully cover their operating expenses, including baseline and new requests. However, the budget substantially uses the residual fund balance to cover capital improvements and one-time requests.
The budget includes critical investments in City Council-identified priority areas, including:
- House all Alamedans/Expand Housing and Human Services
Resources in the Community Development Department will shift to the City Manager’s Office to create a new Division of Housing and Human Services. The Housing function will support developing new affordable housing in coordination with Planning. Human Services will offer safety net services, such as increased homeless emergency response.
- Build Climate Change and Water Level Rise Resilience
The City will update the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan, perform groundwater analysis, and implement capital projects to prevent flooding and address sea level rise.
- Enhance Community Safety and Services
Public safety vehicles and outdated communications and rescue equipment will be replaced.
- Invest in Transportation and Infrastructure
The City will implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) project plan and invest in Civic Center Garage and City building safety improvements.
- Practice Fiscally Responsible and Inclusive Governance
The City will create a Municipal Fiscal Resilience Plan to help weather financial challenges, expand business economic development, including at Alameda Point, and begin implementing the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Plan, once it is approved by City Council.
Capital budget projects
Capital improvement highlights include:
- Pavement Management
Resurfacing and repair of local streets and roads, incorporating new signage and traffic striping.
Removing trip hazards and replacing sidewalks damaged by City-owned trees.
- Traffic Signals and Systems
Replacing obsolete equipment and improving safety and multi-modal operations (e.g., for bicycles, pedestrians, and cars) at key intersections and corridors.
- Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation
Replacing sewer lines, lower laterals, and pump stations.
- Stormwater Management
Improving performance at City-owned pump stations, replacing critical stormwater infrastructure, and preventing trash and pollutants from entering the Bay.
Replacing the playground at McKinley Park (due to storm damage) and the under-5 structure at Tillman Park, partially funding the Krusi Park playground, constructing Phase 2 of Estuary Park, designing and constructing the City Aquatic Center, designing and planning De-Pave Park, and improving Marina Village Park, and maintaining existing parks and pathways.
Constructing the Clement Avenue, Central Avenue, and Clement/Tilden Safety Improvement projects, designing and installing infrastructure for active transportation (e.g., bicycling and walking), and enhancing street safety, safe routes to school, and transit stops.
- Sea Level Rise Adaptation
Building projects that prevent flooding and address sea level rise, such as seawall design and other improvements at Veteran’s Court and improvement behind the Webster/Posey Tubes.
Budget changes since the May budget workshops
Thanks to input provided at budget workshops held in May, funding increased to the West Alameda Business Association (WABA) and the Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA) for outdoor community space, wayfinding signage for Alameda Point, and maintenance of an additional grass area at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park. Council also directed staff to expand operating hours at the libraries.
In addition, the City added funding to expedite planned facility improvements at the Veterans’ Building, convert hardscape to lawn at Bohol Circle Immigrant Park, and expedite pothole repairs.
Council approved the budget 4-1 with an amendment to expedite hot water provision at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. Councilmember Trish Herrera-Spencer voted against the budget, objecting to the lack of commitment to provide wayfinding signage for businesses at Alameda Point in year one of the budget. The budget commits to updating Alameda Point wayfinding signage in fiscal year 2024-25. The City expects to post final budget documents to its website in August 2023.
Contributing writer Karin K. Jensen covers boards and commissions for the Alameda Post. Contact her via [email protected]. Her writing is collected at https://linktr.ee/karinkjensen and https://alamedapost.com/Karin-K-Jensen.