Mayor’s 2020 budget includes funds to rebuild Dayton’s Bluff fire station

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced his 2020 budget proposal on Aug. 15 with an address at the Frogtown Recreation Center. He’s proposing a total budget of $622 million, broken down between the following departments as seen above. (courtesy of the City of St. Paul)

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter delivered his 2020 budget proposal on Aug. 15, announcing a total budget of $622 million.

The budget calls for a 4.85% property tax levy increase, which works out to about $55 a year more in city taxes for the owner of a median-valued home in St. Paul.

During his budget address, held at the Frogtown Recreation Center, Carter highlighted parts of his budget, including a proposed $2 million to be used to reconstruct Fire Station 7 in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. 

East Side community members and city council representatives have talked for years about rebuilding and expanding the nearly 90-year-old fire station. The station’s needs were highlighted back in 2018 when a fire engine at the station was swapped for a medic unit, despite community protests. The station currently has room for a ladder truck, a medic unit and a chief vehicle.

With a lot of talk about affordable housing recently, especially on the East Side, Carter said his budget proposal also includes launching a rent supplement pilot program in partnership with public schools. The program would provide a $300 monthly supplement to help low income families with children maintain stable housing. He said his budget also includes adding more staff to the Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity to help enforce the city’s new minimum wage law. 

His 2020 budget also includes $1 million to be used in a newly redesigned Community Capital Improvement Budget process, which the city began working on in 2016. The Capital Improvement Budget process will restart in 2020 to help pick projects and community organizations to receive funding for capital improvements.

Carter said the budget includes some cuts as well, such as reducing the police department’s sworn officers by five, reducing the length of the fire academy by two weeks and reducing the number of free youth programs. 

“None of these reductions are ideal,” Carter said during his address. “They represent a set of very difficult and challenging decisions, over which my team and I have agonized greatly.”

Over the next few months, the mayor’s budget proposal will be reviewed by the city council and the city will hold public meetings for residents and businesses to give feedback. 

Adjustments to the budget based on that feedback will be made in November and the city council will vote in December on the city’s 2020 budget, with the mayor signing off on it in mid-December. 

More information about the mayor’s 2020 budget proposal can be found online at


—Marjorie Otto

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