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How should St. Pete spend its money? City leaders want to hear your thoughts

Early plans prioritize affordable housing, infrastructure and community safety.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — What should be included in St. Petersburg's budget? City leaders want to hear from the public Monday in the first of three opportunities for residents to give feedback on early plans for the next fiscal year. 

The city is hosting a 2023 Budget Open House at 6 p.m. Monday, where the public can give suggestions on what should be prioritized. Residents have the option to attend in-person at City Hall or virtually. 

Right now, the budget is in its early stages but aims to address the affordable housing shortage, handle infrastructure upgrades and make the community safer.

The plan, on top of an earmarked $34 million in American Rescue Plan funding to address the affordable housing shortage, includes a re-up for the Penny for Pinellas plan, which, in part, raises money to help purchase land for affordable housing use.

Spending for infrastructure improvements includes money for sidewalks, roads and some of the stuff you don't see like aging pipes and storm drains to help with rising sea level-related issues in the "Stormwater Master Plan."

City leaders say they hope to continue building upon Mayor Ken Welch's priorities, such as the neighborhood safety initiative.

"I think some of the things that we have been very intentional about this year is building in Mayor Welch's principles for accountable and responsive government, you know, we sometimes affectionately call those the six I’s of being in touch with our residents and being inclusive, innovative and informed and impactful and intentional, you know, so we've tried to factor all those concepts into the construction of the budget, and his five pillars for progress," Assistant City Administrator Tom Green said.

The new budget will go into effect in October; for a look at the budget process or to view the open house, click here

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