Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett unveils proposed 2017 budget

Barrett offers $1.53 billion spending plan
Posted at 9:08 AM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 19:39:35-04

Mayor Tom Barrett unveiled his 2017 budget proposal to the Common Council on Monday at City Hall.

The proposed spending plan calls for a $ -million increase in the tax levy, up to $263 million.

"The average home will see an increase of $26.40," Barrett said. "The 2017 municipal service fees will increase by $10.86 for the typical homeowner."

Barrett's proposal also spends more on the Milwaukee Police Department. But the Mayor said it's not enough to hire more police officers -- only to keep MPD's staffing level consistent.

The Mayor blamed a lack of state money on the inability to hire more officers.

"I know there are many people, including me, who would like to see more officers deployed -- the right way, of course," Barrett said. "But we have to have the funds to do that, and have that partnership with the state."

"My budget maintains sworn strength at one thousand eight hundred and eighty eight police officers," Barrett said in his address to the Common Council. "We give the police department the resources it needs to reduce crime by thorough crime analysis, data driven deployment and community engagement."

The Mayor's budget proposal also allocates almost $11 million to lead issues. A total of $4.3 million will be used to make older homes lead-paint safe.

$5.2 million in 2016 and 2017 will be devoted to removing lead lines at 385 licensed day care facilities and replacing approximately 300 existing residential lines when they leak or fail, Barrett said. 

The budget will now get a series of hearings before the City's Finance and Personnel Committee. That's followed by an amendment process before the Common Council votes on sending it back to Barrett for his signature.