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Faulconer Gives Sneak Peak Into His Budget Priorities

Reported by Sandhya Dirks

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will release his budget plan next week. But Wednesday, he gave us a preview. KPBS metro reporter Sandhya Dirks says the focus is on infrastructure.

Hint: It is all about infrastructure. With $35 million in new revenue, the mayor said he will earmark $22 million toward repairing streets and fixing city buildings.

In front of construction crews and a blocked off street, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria on Wednesday unveiled the 25th Street Renaissance Project.

The project, which will transform the entry from Golden Hill into Balboa Park into a European-style promenade, is one Gloria welcomes. Golden Hill is in the heart of his district.

“How many people love 25th Street?”

As the small crowd cheered in response, Gloria talked about the importance of the street in the community, focusing on how an improved thoroughfare can bring big benefits to business.

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Brick and mortar projects like these are part of the huge infrastructure push that Faulconer campaigned on. “Many of you may recall that I promised to direct 50 percent of major revenue growth toward street and infrastructure repair.”

Now, Faulconer said, he is making good on that promise. He said his new budget will focus in on projects like one on 25th Street.

“I’m pleased to announce today, there will be $35 million in new revenue for next year's budget,” Faulconer said. “Nearly $22 million of that will be going towards the city’s infrastructure.”

This is not the only money pot the new mayor is tapping with an eye toward fixing streets, building libraries, and repairing fire stations. Faulconer has also suggested that Community Development Block Grants, known as CDBGs, be utilized for neighborhood infrastructure improvement. That has raised concern from nonprofits who have in the past applied for the grants to help augment social services, like helping the homeless.

Faulconer said he will announce his full budget plan on Monday.

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