Ferndale City Council Reviews Budget, Plans to Vote May 7
Ferndale City Manager April McGrath said she will present potential budget adjustments to council.
Ferndale City Council met for a special budget meeting Monday night to continue reviewing the 2012-13 and 2013-14 budgets as recommended by city management.
The proposed budget, which council began reviewing April 9, recommends a millage increase from 3 to 3.75 mills for 2012-13 and to 4.85 mills for 2013-14.
As an example, property taxes on a home with a State Equalized Value of $100,000 would increase about an additional $37.50 per year with the addition of .75 mills.
Monday's meeting included budget presentations by the Downtown Development Authority, as well as water, sanitation and other city departments. Here are some highlights from the presentations:
Downtown Development Authority
- Objectives for 2013 include communication and community building, the new Artwn program, growing its volunteer base and supporting Woodward Transit Planning.
- Projects include installing six on-street bike racks, pedestrian alley improvements and preliminary engineering for a West Nine Mile Road from Livernois to Pinecrest Streetscape Project.
- The DDA's total budget request is $926,124 for 2013 and $1,226,954 for 2014.
- Meter revenue is steady at approximately $700,000 per year.
- Parking ticket revenues are expected to maintain an average of $25,000 per year.
- Proposed parking projects include resurfacing several lots, installing multi-space meters, a residential parking pilot program and evaluating and addressing the demand for parking.
Major and local streets
- Major street projects include resurfacing Nine Mile from Planavon to Pinecrest in 2013 ($400,000 total with an 80/20 federal match); resurfacing Pinecrest from Nine Mile to Oakridge in 2014 ($340,000, city-funded); and resurfacing Nine Mile to West End ($1,086,000 with a 50/50 federal match).
- Local street projects include an allocated $70,000 to resurface Pearson Street from Woodward to Allen in 2013.
- Decreasing property values along with the increase in the cost of waste collection will result in a 6 percent increase in fees for sanitation services.
- For a single family home, service fees would increase from $111 in 2012 to $118 in 2013 and $125 in 2014.
Water and sewer
- Due to a decrease in water sales and an increase in the cost to purchase water from Detroit, a water rate increase is recommended that would raise the current rate of $101 MCF to $110 MCF for 2013. The rates would stay the same for 2014.
- Planned purchases for 2013 include four police patrol vehicles and one police service vehicle ($121,000 total).
- Purchases for 2014 include four police patrol vehicles, DPW pickup trucks and other small vehicles (total $200,000).
Following the budget presentation, Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter asked management whether it would be possible to reduce the millage without staff reductions.
Ferndale City Manager April McGrath said a slight decrease could be possible with some adjustments. "Going further than that it's getting to the point where you could be looking at some staff reductions," she said.
There are no layoffs scheduled for 2012-13.
McGrath said she would present some potential budget adjustments that do not involve reducing staff to council at its next meeting, May 7.
Council members aim to have the budget ready for approval at the May 7 meeting.
Monday's meeting had previously been scheduled for April 16 but was rescheduled due to power outages.