Thursday, November 12, 2020

Mayor honors city victims of coronavirus

Mayor William R. Wild
When Westland Mayor William R. Wild began his State of the City address last month, he dedicated his presentation to the then 107 residents of the community who lost their lives to the coronavirus.

Wild noted that city officials took the pandemic threat seriously and worked with labor groups and employees to curb the spread of the epidemic and said that the city was one of the first communities to be able to resume full operations.

He noted the 50-point neighborhood makeover plan was ahead of schedule with progress in 36 of the districts. The installation of more than 200 new LED streetlights and road repairs, along with new sidewalks and a major water main completion were also on his list of infrastructure improvements in the city.

Wild stressed the economic development and private investment in the city noting the $20 million investment and 100 new jobs at the US Farathane plant, the Regency of Westland $16,5 million investment; $5 million reinvestment by Emagine Theatre; the establishment of a new $11 million Community Health Center in the city by Garden City Hospital in the former David's Bridal location, and another $5 million conversion of Dicks Sporting Goods building to US Ice and American Pulse Processing.

He noted changes in the Westland Police Department and the resolution by city council declaring racism as a public health crisis and the creation of a commission to assess internal policies and procedures in the department.

Wild said the city is operating with a $72 million balance budget and the city has received more than $2 million in grant money with another $1.5 million pending. He said the previous unfunded MERS Pension obligation in the city could soon be reduced by 95 percent with a bond sale that would require annual payments less than the pension contribution, creating ongoing relief for the city general fund budget.

Curbside recycling has been returned to the community, Wild said, and the city has joined with Livonia, Canton Township and Northville Township to study the possibility and benefits of creating a Western Wayne County Water Authority to reduce water bills for residents.

As he closed his address, Wild presented a memorial video tribute to the Westland residents who succumbed to the coronavirus during the pandemic. 

Wild's 2020 State of the City Address can be viewed on YouTube at