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Posted on: May 29, 2020

Proposed 2020-21 Sterling Heights Budget Funds Critical Needs with No Tax Increase

The Sterling Heights City Council will discuss the Proposed 2020-21 City Budget at the regular City Council meeting beginning at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 2 via Zoom Videoconference.

For the fiscal year beginning July 1, the City budget totals $213.9 million – a decrease of $55.6 million or 21 percent over last year. There is no increase in the total City millage rate of 16.2069 mills, and the average resident will pay only $104 per month in City taxes. The City tax rate continues to be lower than most cities in Michigan and is one of the lowest in Macomb County.

There is no increase to the number of full-time positions funded. The 486 full-time positions represent a decrease of 163 full-time positions – or 25 percent of the workforce – since 2002, saving $15.5 million annually. 

Expected reductions in state shared revenue, state road funding, building permit revenue, court fines and interest Income resulting from the COVID-19 crisis have been factored into the proposed budget. As a result, the proposed budget provides funding for only the highest priority needs, eliminating millions of dollars in departmental requests in order to align expenditures with expected reductions in revenues.

Despite projected reductions in road funding from the state of Michigan of over $2.4 million over the next three years, the 2020-21 budget funds a total of $6.1 million toward a total investment of $23.6 million in major road reconstruciton during the 2020 construction season. The following projects are funded in the proposed budget:

  • 19 Mile Road reconstruction from Schoenherr Road to Clinton River Road
  • Saal Road resurfacing from Clinton River Road to 19 Mile Road
  • Pond View Drive concrete replacement from 18 Mile Road to 19 Mile Road
  • Metro Parkway resurfacing from Ryan Road to Dequindre Road

In addition, as a direct result of the renewal of the Safe Streets millage, the proposed budget includes a $5 million investment in neighborhood streets that will fund sectional repairs and full reconstruction of 26 local streets.

The proposed budget funds the final pieces of a massive investment in quality of life services including numerous parks and recreation improvements across the City, not the least of which is the City’s new state-of-the-art community center. The Clinton River landings and launches, along with the anticipated opening of the City’s first dog park, are proving to be transformational.  We expect the excitement to return once the amenities closed due to the COVID-19 crisis can reopen safely.

The proposed budget also focuses on continuing improvements to our aging facilities. The new Public Works facility broke ground in 2019, along with the much anticipated renovation of the City Center campus facilities. The renovated 41-A District Court, Library, Police Station and City Hall will be more welcoming to the general public and include improved customer service amenities.

The proposed budget also continues to invest in public safety, including the replacement of a 20-year old fire engine and much needed repairs to the fire training tower. Funds are also budgeted to replace 19 police vehicles, and due to obsolescence, all in-car cameras, computers and modems for police vehicles will be replaced over the next three years.  

According to City Manager, Mark Vanderpool,  “While the next year is likely to be filled with many unknowns, Sterling Heights is well positioned financially. The proposed budget helps to sustain the City’s financial future by funding only the most critical operational and capital needs.”

The proposed budget will be introduced at the regular City Council meeting on June 2 and will be adopted at the June 16 meeting. Meetings will be held via Zoom videoconference. There are multiple ways the public can view, listen, and participate in these public meetings:

  • Comcast Channel 5 (Viewing)
  • WOW Channel 10 (Viewing)
  • AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 (Viewing)
  • YouTube live stream (Viewing at www.sterling-heights.net/shtvlive)
  • Zoom teleconference (Listening and public participation under Communication from Citizens accessible by calling in at (929) 205-6099 and, when prompted, entering meeting code 441199775 and press “#”. You do not neet a passcode.)

A videotaped message highlighting City departmental budgets, as well as the complete proposed budget document, is available under “City Budget” on the City’s website at www.sterling-heights.net. Meetings will also be rebroadcast on SHTV and will be available for viewing over the Internet the following business day on SHTV On-Demand at www.sterling-heights.net.

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