City Commission adopts FY2019 Fiscal Plan

Published on June 12, 2018

City Commission Adoption Meeting

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City Commission this evening adopted the City’s FY2019 budget. Approval of the fiscal year ordinance establishes a series of operating, debt service and capital appropriations for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The $590 million spending plan reduces the City’s property tax millage rate from 9.0258 mills to 8.9710 mills. The budget invests in outcomes around affordable housing, community and police relations, legacy costs and economic development. It also prioritizes several capital projects: Vital Streets, fire stations, parks, pools and playgrounds, Grand River restoration, tree maintenance and transit shelters, among others.

As part of the fiscal year ordinance adoption, the Commission also approved Stage IV of the City’s Transformation Plan. The FY2019-23 Preliminary Fiscal Plan shows continued positive General Operating Fund results in FY2019 and FY2020. However, the next three years of the plan predict growing net operating losses in the General Operating Fund. City officials say continued transformation by meeting the goals contained within the plan will help maintain future budgets and city operations.

Highlights of the proposed fiscal plan include:

  • Making an initial investment of an estimated $590,000 in the Affordable Housing Fund and increasing the City’s commitment to supporting the creation of additional affordable housing units
  • Continuing the $1 million appropriation for outcomes that strengthen community and police relations through FY2023
  • Investing $4.2 million to renovate, repair or reconstruct eight City-owned parks and invest in the redevelopment of MLK Lodge
  • Investing each year over the five-year period in complementary streetscape features in conjunction with Vital Streets projects in the Southtown, South Division and Grandville corridors
  • Being intentional in reducing disparities by operationalizing racial equity goals across all departments and investing $50,000 to support a comprehensive strategic planning process by the Economic Development Department that focuses on reducing disparities
  • Expanding the customer advocate function approved in the FY2018 budget to increase opportunities for early intervention in code compliance cases and achieve positive and equitable outcomes with fewer complaint-based mechanisms 
  • Effectively managing legacy costs
  • Investing $17.5 million to Vital Streets asset management and debt retirement
  • Investing $6.35 million over five years for the Grand River restoration project development and implementation
  • Investing $400,000 to address the backlog of priority two trees within seven years and begin implementation of a proactive tree maintenance management plan
  • Investing $250,000 to continue to improve bus shelter locations throughout the city
  • Increasing the Experience Grand Rapids investment for promotional services by $100,000 per year
  • Investing $100,000 per year for FY2019 and FY2020 for Southtown Corridor Improvement District (CID) operational support
  • Investing $100,000 in FY2019 for Southtown CID capital investments
  • Reserving a Transformation Fund balance of $750,000 for a flexible Third Ward equitable investment initiative in FY2019