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Cleveland City Council approves $1.7 billion budget for 2018 that adds jobs, enhances services

March 27, 2018 GMT

Cleveland City Council approves $1.7 billion budget for 2018 that adds jobs, enhances services

CLEVELAND, Ohio – City Council approved a 2018 budget for Cleveland Monday that calls for about $1.7 billion in spending that Mayor Frank Jackson has said will enhance services, fill vacant jobs and extend the benefits for the city’s economic recovery to all city residents.  

Jackson proposes spending about $622 million in general fund services such as police and fire protection and parks and recreation.    

That’s up from about $595 million in 2017. 

The balance of the spending is slated for enterprise operations such as the water department and the airport, which raise their own money to support themselves. 

Jackson unveiled his budget plan to council late in February and it sailed through committee hearings. 

Council made few changes to the mayor’s plan before giving its initial approval on first and second readings. The final vote Monday evening was 16-0.

One change that was made was to increase spending to help elderly Clevelanders keep their homes in good repair and maintain the city’s housing stock.   

The money, $1.275 million, will be divided between Cleveland’s 17 wards. Each member of City Council will have $75,000 to use for helping seniors.  

That program will be administered through the city’s Department of Aging once guidelines are drawn up.  

Jackson and members of City Council frequently have discussed the need for programs to help elderly homeowners who live in Cleveland’s impoverished neighborhoods keep up their homes.   

Senior home assistance is a component of a $65-million neighborhood revitalization program that Jackson launched last year in the East 105th Street corridor on the East Side and the Clark-Fulton area on the West Side.  

Members of council will also be able to direct an additional $75,000 toward small capital improvement projects in their wards. That pot of money was something the council put in last year’s budget, too.