Mayor Announces 2015 Budget and Hillyard Police Station

By Paige Browning

City leaders announced the proposed 2015 budget Tuesday in a parking lot in Hillyard, northeast Spokane. Mayor David Condon says in the past two years the city has built a sustainable operating budget, which allows them to shift attention to the capital budget in 2015.
 
Condon says 162-million dollars of the 600-million dollars budget will go toward capital improvements. That includes public safety efforts like allowing for ongoing recruitment of police officers, and putting 17-million dollars towards police and fire vehicles.

Condon: “The work we’ve identified in the 2015 program budget keeps us pushing to be even safer, stronger, and smarter.”
 
Highlighting public safety, Condon announced the budget alongside news that a new police precinct will open in the Hillyard neighborhood by the end of the year. A police captain and officers will work out of a building on Market Street and Diamond Avenue, similar to the set up at the downtown precinct. Chief Frank Straub says downtown crime is now down by 5 percent. Condon says this is one way the budget helps business in Spokane.
 
Condon: “That you need government acting the best and most efficient way possible, keeping the tax rates reasonable and affordable, and then providing public safety… and allow the private sector, on that foundation, to build our economy.”
 
Finance director Gavin Cooley says revenues and expenses are lining up in 2015 because of nominal - less than two-percent - budget growth.
 
The public has a chance to weigh in on the budget during four meetings in September, including one on the 15th at the northeast community center.
 
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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