Mayor Jerry Dyer details budget for '23 with focus on public safety, homelessness and beautification

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Wednesday, Mayor Jerry Dyer unveiled his budget outline for Fiscal Year 2023.

The budget has a heavy focus on public safety, homelessness, and beautification of the city.

"I want the message to be for the people in Fresno: we understand your needs and the demands, and we are doing everything we can to meet those demands and needs," Mayor Jerry Dyer said.

Mayor Dyer detailed plans for his $1.727 billion fiscal budget Wednesday morning.

He started with a focus on community safety: adding 37 officers to the Fresno Police Department.

A change the Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama welcomes.

"I have 60 vacancies right now, but I have 94 people in training, in the police academy. We have more people coming in than we have coming out," Balderrama said.

The department would also receive $1.2 million to start a "mental health triage and response program."

"This is long overdue and it is time that our police officers no longer respond to mental health type calls in our city unless there is a danger presented to the public," said Dyer.

For Fresno Fire, the Mayor wants to add 24 new firefighters.

It would allow the department to create a fourth medical response team.

"We are going to have four firefighters on every piece of equipment, minus two engines, and we'll have four medical squads that are quicker, faster and can respond much more efficiently in this city," Fire Chief Kerri Donis said.

Dyer says $40 million of federal American Rescue Plan funds will support the "One Fresno Housing Strategy" and create more permanent housing for those exiting emergency shelters.

In downtown, $300,000 would be used for trash removal, daily pressure washing of sidewalks, and more frequent street sweeping.

Dyer wants to establish a trolley service between Downtown, Fresno City College and Fresno State.

"We want those people who live and attend those colleges, live in those colleges and attend, to be our future residents downtown," Dyer said.

The budget also continues graffiti cleanup and sidewalk repairs across the city.

The mayor is also calling for improvements at parks and funding of an initial design of a 49-acre southeast Fresno Regional Park.

"We're going to be able to increase the safety of our parks, we're going to be able to increase lighting along our trails and so on and so forth. It is really, really good news for the people of Fresno," said Dyer.

The mayor will present his budget Thursday at the city council meeting.

The budget must be adopted by June 30.
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