Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council are hosting a budget workshop on Monday, July 20 to outline how the city will address future economic challenges, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including affordable housing, access to education, and strengthening youth programming.

The workshop will be followed by public hearings with opportunities for public input in September with a final vote and scheduled adoption of the budget on September 21, 2020.

The proposed budget investments include the following:

  • Maintaining the current millage rate.
  • Creating a new Equity Official position in charge of “making change and further[ing] racial equity in everything our city government does.”
  • Expanding the Parramore Kidz Zone program to Holden Heights, Mercy Drive, and Engelwood neighborhoods.
  • Refocusing $4.5 million worth of funding from the Orlando Police Department towards community policing efforts, and enhancing review and training for officer use of force and mental health assistance.
  • Engaging mental health and social service professionals on calls involving individuals experiencing homelessness or a mental crisis.
  • Creating a new dedicated team to monitor Response to Resistance investigations.
  • Providing officers with Intercultural Competence Assessment evaluations.
  • Increasing the budget of the Families, Parks, and Recreation budget by nearly 14 percent to create more neighborhood-based programs for children and residents.
  • Improving the Hankins Park pool for residents in Washington Shores and renovations to the Jackson Neighborhood Center basketball courts and playground.
  • Allocating $20 million available towards short and long-term affordable housing including down payment assistance programs through the City and CRA.
  • Providing up to $40,000 in grant funding through the Minority/Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance program to attract new minority-owned businesses to the Parramore area.
  • Investing $300,000 in annual funding to the Black Business Investment Fund and Prospera to provide technical assistance to small, minority-owned businesses.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of Bungalower.com

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