Over 50% of Pearland's proposed general budget for fiscal year 2020-21 will go toward public safety, according to a presentation by interim Director of Finance John McCarter at the city’s Aug. 31 public hearing. The budget will pay for 12 new firefighters and two new police officers.

Personnel requests for the year that were not approved include new hires in public safety, engineering, parks and recreation, and internal service. This additional personnel would have cost the city $5 million, according to budget documents.

The city is proposing $89.58 million in expenses in its FY 2020-21 budget, with a projected $89.9 million earned in revenue. Pearland is holding the first reading for the budget Sept. 14 with the second and final reading Sept. 28.

The budget does not include the $4.6 million needed for street and sidewalk maintenance, though over $1 million is allocated to the fund. At past meetings, several council members mentioned they would like to see more money invested in streets and sidewalk maintenance in the future.

“It’s been a long time but we are still falling short on the fund,” Council Member Gary Moore said at the Aug. 17 council meeting.

The budget also includes a 2% cost of living increase for all city staff, which has been discussed by council and within public commentary throughout the budget process.

The majority of the city’s revenue will come from property taxes again in FY 2020-21, as it did in FY 2019-20. One area from which the city expects to see more revenue in the upcoming year is charges for services, McCarter said. There was a significant drop in money from the parks and recreation department into the city, as the city canceled many events in the spring and summer due to COVID-19.

“We really hope we have that valuable programming back with us in the summer,” McCarter said.