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Mayor Faulconer’s Budget Revise Funds Scooter Enforcement, Balboa Park Upgrades

Electric bikes are seen parked in a newly painted dockless bike and scooter p...

Photo by Andrew Bowen

Above: Electric bikes are seen parked in a newly painted dockless bike and scooter parking area downtown, April 19, 2019.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced $6.7 million in additional spending Tuesday as part of his revised fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The blueprint calls for the city to spend roughly $2.4 million to enforce its new dockless electric scooter regulations and complete transit infrastructure projects that are consistent with its goal to eliminate fatal traffic collisions by 2025.

The budget also calls for spending nearly $2 million on brush management and more than $500,000 to hire three positions to assist with homeless programs and one coordinator for LGBTQ issues.

Faulconer also announced plans to redirect $9.3 million allocated for the failed Plaza de Panama project to various projects around Balboa Park. The city and the project committee nixed their public-private agreement last month due to higher-than-expected construction bids. The project would have cleared cars from Balboa Park's central mesa and built an underground paid parking garage.

"We're making strategic additions that focus on improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods, from planting more trees to removing graffiti to bolstering public safety," Faulconer said in a statement. "We're also going to make sure that dollars set aside years ago for Balboa Park will stay in the park and go toward the many worthy projects there."

The city would use roughly $4.9 million in general fund surplus, $2.4 million in revenue from its regulation of dockless electric scooter companies and $1 million in expected revenue gained by cuts from various departments to fund the budget additions. However, the city will lose out on an estimated $1.6 million from last month's canceled sale of the Skateworld roller skating rink, bringing the funding to $6.7 million.

City Councilman Chris Cate joined Faulconer to announce the revisions and discuss his own proposed program in the revised budget to help the city's police officers buy homes in San Diego and, as a consequence, help recruit and retain more police officers, according to Cate. The pilot program is slated to receive roughly $250,000 in city funding.

"Less than 30 percent of police officers live within city limits," Cate said in a statement. "Over the past year, I have worked to better understand police officers' housing needs and to create a partnership with nonprofits and financial institutions that establishes a framework for this program."

The City Council's Budget Review Committee will meet Friday for its final scheduled meeting of the year to wrap up discussions of the proposed budget, which must be adopted by June 15.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced $6.7 million in additional spending Tuesday as part of his revised fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

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