The Sterling Heights City Council will discuss the Proposed 2016/17 City Budget during a special budget meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 at City Hall.
The proposed spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1 totals $170 million – a decrease of $7.8 million or 4.4 percent. The budget continues to fund the voter approved Safe Streets Proposal that enables the City to avoid further cuts to public safety staffing, funds the early hiring of new Police Officers, provides for needed community investments, and increases reserves. The budget also incorporates the City’s Vision 2030 Plan that seeks to keep the community vibrant, maintain the City’s overall excellent quality of life, and provide recreational and other place making opportunities.
Because of the efficient delivery of services, the City’s tax rate remains lower than two-thirds of cities in the State. The City’s tax rate is 5.9 mills lower than the average of all cities in Macomb County. As a result, the average homeowner’s total property tax bill this upcoming year will be $200 or 7.2 percent less than it was nine years ago.
The budget funds 449 full-time positions – a net increase of 2 positions. Two part-time staff are being converted to full-time and a new Community Relations position is proposed. Three additional part-time clerical and two part-time Code Enforecment Officers are also funded. The City has reduced funding for 200 full-time positions or 31 percent of its workforce since 2002, saving $15.6 million annually.
The budget includes funding for an increased level of road repairs , including the continued six-fold increase in neighborhood road repairs, the resurfacing of 14 and 15 Mile Roads, reconstruction of M-59, and the widening of Dequindre Road. The spending plan also includes replacement of the pedestrian bridge along the Dodge Park bike trail and the replacement of the Riverland pedestrian bridge. The budget allows for the early hiring and training of 18 Police Officers and the operation of the Fire Rescue vehicle as an additional ALS unit.
The budget also continues to restore public safety capital funding that had been scaled back and delayed due to revenue declines. Funds are budgeted to replace 12 Police vehicles, a Fire Aerial Ladder Truck, 18 Fire vehicle computers, fire medical equipment, four replacement outdoor emergency warning sirens, a Street Sweeper, and a Snow Plow Truck. Funds are also allocated for Police, Fire and Library facility repairs, a new online resident service request software application, five additional Music in the Park concerts, and replacement Library patron tables and chairs.
“The budget incorporates the City’s recently updated Vision 2030 plan by reinvesting in neighborhood roads, public safety, effective property maintenance initiatives, diversified economic development efforts and a variety of community-oriented services, ” said City Manager Mark Vanderpool. “The budget sets a path for the future by enhancing the quality of life for our residents and businesses and further reinvesting in our employees who provide vital services on a daily basis to our customers.”
A series of budget workshops will be held prior to the budget adoption on May 4. The workshop schedule and a copy of the proposed budget document are available in the “Budget Center” on the City’s website at www.sterling-heights.net.
All budget workshops will take place in the Council Chambers, located on the upper level of City Hall (40555 Utica Road). All meetings will be televised live on Sterling Heights Television (SHTV), Channel 5 – Comcast, and Channel 10 – WOW!, and will be rebroadcast throughout the week on SHTV. Meetings are available for viewing over the Internet the following business day on SHTV On-Demand at www.sterling-heights.net.
For more information, contact Community Relations at (586) 446-CITY (2489).