Allen Park EM talks budget

By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — The 2013-14 city budget went into effect Monday and includes approximately $2.5 million in the general fund.

Emergency Manager Joyce Parker presented the budget during a public hearing June 29 and it took effect July 1. She said the purpose of the new budget is to provide for fiscal stability to enhance service delivery in public works and public safety and keep in line with the city’s deficit elimination plan.

The budget doesn’t include the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant money —which has been accepted — or any money needed from the general fund to finance the Police and Fire departments because of the unknown fate of the proposed police and fire millage.

The budget does include the anticipated changes to the fire and police union contracts, which includes significant healthcare cost reductions, salaries and wages, and reduced future retiree costs. It allocates a dedicated amount of funding to support the operations for police and fire, which are $5 million and $2.8 million, respectively. Parker said the proposed millage would provide about $4.6 million in net revenue.

“If the increased millage passes, the revenue collected would fund about 58.8 percent of the operating budget for the two departments,” she said. “It would provide $2 million in additional money over the current millage.”

The city outsourced the recreation center operations to a third-party organization and the budget reflects those changes. Parker said the city will see about a 54 percent reduction in the Parks and Recreation Department by 2014 because the city will not solely be operated with city resources.

“By outsourcing the operations to a third party, the city will see a reduction of expenditures of approximately 54 percent in Fiscal Year 2014,” Parker said. “This is compared to prior years when the Parks and Recreation Department was solely operated with city resources.”

She said there is an expectation of a .5 percent increase in the overall taxable value for 2013-14, which would be the first increase in taxable value in six years.

There is budgeted money to pay for an estimated 3 percent increase from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, which would maintain current service levels and include funds for maintenance and repairs. It does not cover any increases to the residents, she said — when the increase is finalized the budget will be amended — but includes a $1.5 million Storm Water Asset Management Wastewater Grant award from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Lastly, she said the city will receive $1.8 million in anticipation subsidies, from the state, for the Southfield Lease Properties. The total expenses for the property would be $3.1 million, which is $682,000 less than the previous year.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)

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