Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other city officials gather at the Bea Evenson Fountain in Balboa Park. Photo courtesy of the mayor’s office

Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Tuesday that he is adding $6.7 million to his proposed budget for the next fiscal year for parks, scooter enforcement and other quality-of-life projects.

The mayor briefed reporters at a press conference in Balboa Park, where he also announced that $9.3 million previously earmarked for the now defunct Plaza de Panama parking project would go for capital improvements at the park, including bathroom upgrades and roof repairs.

“We’re making strategic additions that focus on improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods, from planting more trees to removing graffiti to bolstering public safety,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’re also going to make sure that dollars set aside years ago for Balboa Park will stay in the park and go toward the many worthy projects there.”

Mayor Faulconer’s budget revisions are additions to the $4.15 billion city budget he unveiled last month and are possible thanks to a $4.9 million surplus in the city’s general fund.

The budget additions include more than $2.4 million for dockless scooter enforcement. $3.2 million for brush management, $300,000 for graffiti abatement, $78,000 for tree planting, $205,000 for three full-time park rangers, $300,000 to double fee waivers for granny flats, and funding for a variety of other improvements.

Also included is $250,000 for a pilot program initiated by Councilmember Chris Cate that will provide housing incentives to help police officers buy homes in the city of San Diego.

“Less than 30 percent of police officers live within city limits. Housing incentives, such as homebuyer down-payment assistance programs, can serve to help officers buy homes within the city of San Diego and provide an additional incentive to assist in the recruitment and retention of police officers,” Cate said.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.