PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves has announced plans to allocate funding from the City of Pensacola’s budget to make significant investments in three areas: Public safety, strategic planning, and city parks and facilities maintenance.
The funding allocation aligns with Reeves’ commitment to ensuring public safety for all city residents, along with his vision for creating a cohesive strategic plan to help ensure the City of Pensacola’s success in the future.
Funding for the majority of these initiatives will come from carry-forward funding, which is unspent money from the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
The Mayor’s initiatives include the following items:
- Technology Upgrades: Multi-million-dollar technology upgrades for officers, vehicles and body cameras, including integrated technology and higher quality video.
- Additional CRA Officers: Two additional officers in the downtown urban core through the Community Redevelopment Agency, improving public safety in frequently visited areas.
- Tactical Rescue Vehicle: New tactical vehicle to replace PPD’s outdated SWAT van, providing enhanced safety for officers in highly dangerous situations.
- Additional Barricades: Additional barricades to help keep our citizens safe at parades and large-scale events in the city.
- Deputy Fire Chief Position: Restored Deputy Fire Chief of Operations position for the Pensacola Fire Department.
- Traffic Calming Measures: Street calming, new sidewalks and traffic signage to improve safety.
- Security Fencing: New security fence at PPD headquarters to replace broken fencing and ensure the safety of officers.
“This is really going to enhance our ability to keep people safe and enhance the efficiency of the department [PPD,]” Reeves said. “We spend a lot of our time doing things with archaic technology, with this new technology, we are going to be able to circumvent that.”
- City-Wide Strategic Plan: Comprehensive Strategic Plan to evaluate and plan holistically for the City of Pensacola’s future.
- City-Wide Land Development Code Study: A comprehensive look at the city’s Land Development Code to identify potential areas for improvement.
- City-Wide Salary and FTE Study: A study of all City of Pensacola employee salaries and full-time equivalents to ensure equitable pay for all staff.
- Congestion Management Plan: A plan to help identify future needs and foster economic development as the city continues to grow.
- New Positions to Invest in City’s Success: New Senior Grant Writer position and Economic & Neighborhood Development Director position dedicated to helping the City of Pensacola grow and prosper.
“We have set aside $300,000 for the City-Wide Strategic Plan,” Reeves said. “I said this on the campaign trail, if you have no plan, everything fits it. So, we are long overdue for having a city-wide strategic plan where we can have an aligned vision as an administration, as a council and as a community. It is a long, arduous process, but this funding will get that started.”
- Public Safety Building Assessment: Assessment of Pensacola Police Department and Pensacola Fire Department headquarters to assess the greatest needs.
- Park Maintenance Budget: Planning and budgeting for future maintenance of city parks on a rotating schedule.
- Roger Scott Pool Bathrooms: Repairs to the bathrooms at Roger Scott Pool to better serve residents and pool guests.
- McClellan Road Sidewalks: New sidewalks on McClellan Road to enhance safety for pedestrians and allow safer access for students walking to Cordova Park Elementary School.
- City Hall Improvements: Repairs and improvements to City Hall to ensure it is an inviting, comfortable and safe place for employees and visitors.
“A city pool being run without an operable bathroom is not something I am interested in,” Reeves said. “It is the largest line item we have in here, and we are going to have to find some other funding sources, but about $600,000 from the carry-forward funds will be towards that. The projected costs to fix those bathrooms is about $1.2 million. I tell people all the time, it’s fun to build shiny new things, but when we have 94 parks, and 10 community centers, these are things that have to happen.”
In total, the amounts for each section will cost more than $3 million.
“These three things are the things I talked about a lot while campaigning,” Reeves said. “They are the anchor of priority for me.”
The carry-forward funding is on the agenda for the Thursday, Jan. 19 City Council meeting.