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2019 State of the City


Mayor Rogero in Final State of the City: Continued Momentum, Strategic Investments, Strong Financial Health

Mayor Rogero presents State of City Address View Photo Gallery on Facebook

Mayor's State of the City on Community Television of Knoxville

Mayor Madeline Rogero today proposed her eighth and final budget, which continues strategic investments, leverages creation of new affordable housing and expands outdoor recreation amenities.

With pension reform addressed in her first term and an estimated fund balance of $71 million at the end of her term, Mayor Rogero told a crowd of about 700 at her annual State of the City Address that the next Mayor will inherit a City in robust health. The City enjoys an all-time high credit rating and the capacity to borrow to make future investments. In the next eight months, Mayor Rogero said she will oversee planning and execute key agreements to finalize a new public safety complex at the North Knoxville Tennova site.

Next month, she will ask City Council for its commitment to proceed with the project. After renovation and some new construction on the southern half of the site, it will be converted into modern, efficient, accessible space that meets current and future needs of the Police and Fire departments, City Court, and the City Pension office.

Mayor Rogero further proposed $6.5 million in her budget to secure the northern end of the hospital campus, protect the historic hospital building for a future use, and demolish obsolete structures. The City is currently exploring potential re-uses of the property and remaining buildings, including private-sector redevelopment.

The Mayor said her administration will continue discussions with the Tennessee Smokies about relocating minor-league baseball to Knoxville. But it will be up to the next Mayor and City Council to finalize a plan to build a stadium. “We have researched successful ballpark models that serve the community year-round and have spurred significant economic investment,” she said. “A ballpark will be a catalyst for more housing, retail and mixed-use development in the area. We are working with KCDC to invest in a revitalized Austin Homes to ensure that future housing development in the area remains mixed-income.”

Using a baseball analogy, she added, “Our goal is to get the runner to second or third base – scoring position – so the next administration will, I hope, safely bring the runner home.”

Mayor Rogero’s proposed budget appropriates $4.25 million to assist Knoxville’s Community Development Corp. (KCDC) in its Austin Homes community revitalization.

Another $2.5 million in new funding is committed to the Affordable Rental Housing Development Fund.

Since Mayor Madeline Rogero took office in 2011, the City of Knoxville and its housing partners have invested more than $230 million in the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing.

The City’s investment of $45 million has leveraged an additional $186 million in investments from partners. These investments have resulted in the creation or rehabilitation of 4,277 units of affordable housing – 3,478 completed, with 799 additional units in the pipeline.

The Mayor delivered her State of the City Address at the James White Parkway terminus in South Knoxville, where construction will soon begin on a $10 million Urban Wilderness Gateway Park.

Other highlights from the Mayor’s proposed budget for 2019-20, which she unveiled during the address:

• The proposed $336.3 million net budget represents a 10.8 percent decrease from 2018-19. The general fund, which is the main operating fund, is up 1.7 percent due to higher salaries, benefits and operating expenses. There is no tax increase in the proposed budget.

• All City of Knoxville employees will receive a 2.5 percent salary increase. To be competitive in police recruitment and retention, the entry salary for police officers is increased to $40,000, and subsequent ranks are adjusted upward.

• The budget includes $1.2 million for the development of greenway corridors; $1 million for the Fort Dickerson Quarry development; $500,000 for Ijams Nature Center; and funds for improvements to ball fields, tennis courts and playgrounds, West Hills Park, Fort Kid, and fitness room upgrades and other enhanced park maintenance.

• The Mayor is proposing continued support for KAT – $13.31 million in direct City support and grant match funding, including a pilot project that adds free trolley service to the South Waterfront and the expansion of service on the 20th route in five years.

• The proposed budget includes $5.8 million for street paving, $535,000 for improvements to traffic signals, and $200,000 for traffic calming projects.

• The Magnolia Avenue Streetscapes Project will expand eastward toward Cherry Street; $1 million is designated for Phase 3 design work.

• A total of $1.45 million is allocated to sidewalks and crosswalks, including $750,000 for sidewalks within school parental responsibility zones and $500,000 for new sidewalk construction.

• Working with Knox County and other community partners, the proposed budget includes $583,950 – an increase of $183,950 – for operations of the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center.

• To protect historic properties, $500,000 is allocated for preservation efforts, and $100,000 will continue the “demolition by neglect” program.

• The budget provides $425,000 – an increase of $100,000 – to assist community schools in center-city neighborhoods, in collaboration with the Great Schools Partnership and Knox County Schools.

• The budget appropriates $250,000 for bicycle infrastructure improvements.

• It provides $100,000 to address chronic problem properties and another $100,000 for blighted property acquisition.

• Operating and capital grants for 42 community and social service agencies total $1.3 million; capital grants are proposed to help the Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, YWCA, the Knoxville Area Urban League, the Change Center, and Positively Living, among others.

• Operating and capital grants totaling $625,000 are budgeted for the Knoxville Symphony, the Museum of Art, the Knoxville Opera, Beck Cultural Center, the Big Ears Festival and 24 other arts and cultural groups. The budget funds $300,000 for public art.

The Mayor’s proposed budget will be presented for first reading at City Council on Tuesday, May 7, followed by Council budget hearings and a public hearing scheduled for May 16. Council’s second reading of the budget is scheduled for May 21.

For the full text of Mayor Rogero’s State of the City Address and all supporting budget documents, see links below.


BUDGET INFORMATION


2019-2020 Budget Info
Mayor's 2019 State of the City Address
Proposed Annual Operating Budget [PDF]
Six Month Financial Report [PDF]
Budget Archive (Budgets from years 2001-current year)


BUDGET CALENDAR

February 8, 2019
City of Knoxville Budget Retreat and Six Month Financial Report released.
February - April, 2019 - Departments Submit Budget Requests, Base Numbers Calculated, and Capital Budget Prepared
March 25, 27 & 28 2019 Mayor's Budget Hearings 
April 26, 2019 - Mayor's State of the City Address
May 16, 2019 - City Council Budget Hearings & Public Hearing
May 7, 2019 First Reading of Budget & Tax Ordinances
May 9, 2019 Planning Commission Hearing on Capital Improvement Program
May 21, 2019 - Second Reading of Budget & Tax Ordinances
June 15, 2019 - Last Possible Day to Approve Budget/Tax Ordinances
July 1, 2019 - New Fiscal Year Begins