Fund Balance Project Portal: Using Smart Fiscal Management for a Thriving City

As the City entered the 2023 budget year, it did so with a substantial Unassigned Fund Balance (funds remaining in the City’s budget after appropriating all necessary operational and personnel resources for 2023)—a testament to prudent fiscal management throughout the challenges posed by the pandemic. Coupled with federal funding dedicated to pandemic response and recovery via the American Resue Plan Act, the City’s financial strength presented a unique opportunity to invest in our community's future. The Cantrell Administration has led the effort to allocate a portion of the City’s Unassigned Fund Balance, totaling $196M, to high-priority, multi-year projects aimed at creating a safe and vibrant city for generations to come.

Investing in Our Future: A Vision for a Safer and Healthier City

The dedication of $196M in Fund Balance dollars underscores our commitment to meet the evolving needs of New Orleans residents. These one-time investments are designed to improve the City's infrastructure, address critical service backlogs made worse by the pandemic, and strengthen our local social safety net, while maintaining sufficient emergency reserves for future unknowns.

Notable Fund Balance Projects

  • Music Museum: A project to establish a dedicated space celebrating the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, ensuring its preservation and perpetuation for generations to come.
  • Family Connects Pilot Program: Coaching and support for new families aimed at reducing hospital visits, easing maternal anxiety and promoting family health and newborn care. 
  • STEMNOLA Innovation Hub: A forward-looking venture aimed at nurturing innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological advancement within the city, fostering economic growth and creating opportunities for the local population.
  • Walking Trails and Pocket Parks: The creation of accessible, green spaces for residents to enjoy, promoting physical well-being and community engagement.
  • Blight Remediation Projects: Initiatives aimed at beautifying the city by revitalizing and reclaiming neglected areas, breathing new life into neighborhoods.
  • YouthForce Internship Program: A work-based learning program where students are trained in a variety of soft skills and and earn real-world career development experience.
  • Tree Trimming and Illegal Dumping Remediation: A commitment to enhancing the city's visual appeal and environmental well-being by addressing tree maintenance and the removal of unsightly waste.

What Progress Are We Making?

These Fund Balance projects are a testament to our commitment to the growth and well-being of our community. They represent a step forward in leveraging all available funding sources to meet our city's needs and create a safer, healthier, and more vibrant New Orleans for all. We invite you to explore these initiatives further through the visualizations and project highlights included on this page. The figures below are accurate as of December 2023. We are working to revise them with data from the new fiscal year. 

Public Health

Project Highlight: Family Connects Pilot Program

Project Status: Ongoing

Family Connects New Orleans provides one to three in-home visits, free of charge, to parents of newborns up to 12 weeks old residing in Orleans Parish who give birth at Ochsner Baptist or Touro Hospital. You can expect a visit with a registered nurse around three weeks postpartum.

Family Connects unites families, healthcare providers, and community agencies to optimize newborn care. Participation eases maternal anxiety, educates parents on childcare quality, and reduces infant hospital visits. Recommended by local medical experts, it complements pediatric visits, offering personalized healthcare at home, benefiting babies, families, and the community.

Youth Programming

Project Highlight: YouthForce Internship Program

Project Status: Ongoing

YouthForce Internship is a paid, work-based learning program that involves work readiness and soft skills training, one-on-one coaching, and a paid internship with a local company. During the training stage of YouthForce Internship, students learn a variety of career development skills, ranging from interviewing to professional attire, that sharpen and strengthen their foundations as job applicants. During their internship, students learn more about potential careers, gain valuable work experience, internalize soft skills, and network with people in a fast-growing, high-wage industry.

Blight Remediation & Beautification

Project Highlight: Tree-Trimming Backlog

Project Status: Ongoing

  • $3.4M for the elimination of the tree trimming and removal backlog.
  • To date the City has completed the removal of 72 and trimmed over 800 trees.

Project Highlight: Illegal Dumping Remediation

Project Status: Ongoing

  • $1.33M spent since February of this year for remediation and proper disposal.
  • The City's crews have removed 1290 tons of debris from more than 2900 dumping sites.

Project Highlight: Blight Abatement

Project Status: Ongoing

  • $10M for demolition of more than a dozen blighted commercial properties and 750 blighted residential properties as well as a continuation of the lot-abatement program which maintains vacant and overgrown parcels across the city.
  • Progress so far includes almost $4M spent on demolitions and grass-cutting.

Other Initiatives

Project Highlight: Music Museum

Project Status: Ongoing

  • $1M dedicated to the creation and build-out of the City's first Music Museum.
  • This project is a partnership with The Louisiana Music and Heritage Experience, Inc, a non-profit dedicated to celebrating this city's exceptional musical heritage.
  • The proposed location will be across from the Convention Center.

Additional Fund Balance Appropriations

In addition to the priority projects outlined above, Fund Balance appropriations filled several budget gaps and covered outstanding payments throughout 2023. Fulfilling these obligations and providing critical supplemental funding to both City departments and external agencies allowed the City to maintain and enhance core service amidst rising costs driven by inflation.