NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— One-and-a-half billion dollars is the proposed budget for the next year. The Mayor’s administration presented the annual wish list to the City Council.

The key areas the budget focuses on is higher pay for city employees, along with something folks living in New Orleans want to see money put into.

“This is not just a budget for today, this is a budget for tomorrow,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.

Mayor Cantrell and her administration laid out their proposed operating budget of $1.47 billion dollars for 2023, and they’ve made some changes.

“This budget demonstrates that gone are the days when we lock up funds backing up funds on positions that go unfilled year after year,” Mayor Cantrell said.

In 2023, the City’s use of one-time general fund revenue will increase by 12.1 percent while the recurring general fund revenue full will increase by 3 percent. With that comes plans for 5 percent raises for city employees, firefighters will get $15 an hour, while Orleans Parish Sheriff Deputies would get $18 an hour.

“Thoughtful, sensitive analysis as we went through our projections ensuring we have resources and decision making based on our budget and revenue,” Gilbert Montano, Chief Administrative Officer with the City of New Orleans said.

The City also has access to one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan Act totaling nearly $400-million dollars. $100-million dollars of that they are proposing goes to the Emergency Disaster Fund.

“If we do not have the cash up front to address these things then they don’t get done and we aren’t able to protect,” Montano said.

Mayor Cantrell says part of this budget takes into consideration the needs they’ve been hearing from residents for years.

“Addressing blight, overgrown lots, infrastructure, cleaning catch basins,” Mayor Cantrell said.

$52-million would go to public safety and public health. $45-million would go to infrastructure. $40-million would go to housing. $30-million would go to blight clean-up and $25-million each for economic development and youth services.

“Nothing we are trying to provide here is set in stone. We are trying to be as agile as possible to address those needs,” Montano said.

The proposed budget for the NOPD is lower in 2023 by 12 percent than 2022, but administrators say they are not defunding the police. The figure is based on positions being filled within the NOPD.

City Council will address the proposed budget at a December 1st meeting.