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July 25th, 2013 By German Lopez | News | Posted In: Human services, News, Homelessness

City Might Reduce Budget Cuts

Higher revenues could help restore funding to human services and parks

quallsVice Mayor Roxanne Qualls

City Council could partly or totally undo the latest budget cuts to human services, parks and other areas by using higher-than-expected revenues from the previous budget cycle, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls announced today.

When City Council passed the budget in May, it was unclear how much revenue would be left over from fiscal year 2013, which ended June 30. Now, revenues are expected to come in higher than originally projected.

The full revenue numbers should be released next week, allowing City Council to evaluate its options for what and how much can be restored.

Human services was cut by about $500,000 in the last budget, putting the program at $1.1 million.

Funding to parks was also reduced by $1 million down to $7 million.

But the funding could be restored, at least in part, within a month, Qualls said.

Qualls and other city officials previously told CityBeat they intended to restore human services funding and other cut programs with higher-than-expected revenues and perhaps the parking lease, but Qualls' announcement today was the clearest indication that it's actually happening.

The vice mayor made the announcement at a mayoral forum hosted by the Human Services Chamber of Hamilton County, which consists of various local social service groups. Qualls, who's running for mayor this year, was speaking at the event with John Cranley, who's also running for mayor.

Human services funding flows through several local agencies that focus on providing aid to the homeless and poor. Programs include sheltering, job training and drug rehabilitation.

Cincinnati has historically set a goal of dedicating 1.5 percent of its operating budget to human services, but only 0.3 percent of the latest budget went to the program.

 
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