Thursday, June 17, 2021

Mayor LeRoy Burcroff
Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff delivered his eighth and final State of the City Address last week, highlighting the accomplishments of his administration since 2013 and the perseverance of the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burcroff, first elected mayor in 2013, after serving on the Romulus City Council, is a life-long resident of the city. A graduate of Romulus High School, he and his wife are the parents of three children.

In looking back at his tenure as mayor during his address last week, Burcroff focused on the accomplishments since 2014 when the city administration team, under his direction, began a visioning process prioritizing a culture of customer service, financial stability, public safety, economic development and community initiatives.

He reminded the audience that when he was elected in 2013, Romulus city parks were closed and no longer maintained and the recreation department was closed, providing no activities for community members.

Both the parks and the recreation department activities and services were returned during his administration, Burcroff said, with no additional tax burden on residents.

The Romulus city budget has been balanced every year from 2014 through 2021, he added, and currently has an increased fund balance and has managed a reduction in legacy costs along with $25 million in savings.

Burcroff said that since 2019, the city has saved $305,000 in health care costs and that all union contract agreements have been ratified between September 2020 and July 2021, an unprecedented accomplishment, he said, with the last two contracts ratified during the pandemic.

An Operational Sustainability and Community Enhancement Committee was also established to help reduce and mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic, he explained. 

Burcroff said that Advanced Life Support transport was now available in the city and that the Romulus Fire Department Station #2 was now reopened. Using grant funds, new emergency response vehicles were purchased and six new firefighters were hired utilizing SAFER federal grant funding.

He added that first responder communication had been improved and that the 911 system in the city had been upgraded. First responders in Romulus are now part of a mental health partnership, providing more appropriate responses in calls for service.

The prestigious accreditation of the Romulus Police Department through the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) was awarded in 2019 and will conclude in summer of 2021.

The city departments have worked on succession planning, he said, and have practiced enhanced and collaborative enforcement.  

Burcroff, who opted not to seek reelection this year, said that economic development in the city now utilized a fast track process and proudly noted that Romulus was awarded the ECitites 5 Star designation for the third consecutive year 2018, 2019 and 2020 based on economic development.

“According to the SEMCOG report for 2019 - Romulus had the most square footage (3.2 million) development in the region,” Burcroff said. 

He said that the city now utilizes an effective team strategy focused on reducing expenditures with greater results. During the pandemic, he said, the rate of residential development in 2020 was at $11,733,975 investment with 92 single family homes constructed and 342 upgrades to existing homes.

He said there was $34,015.988 invested in commercial development in 2020 in the city with the opening of 26 new businesses.

In addition, industrial development saw $85,818,732 in investment, primarily focused on the food and produce industry. 

He said the city utilized National Incident Management System (NIMS) and established Emergency Operations Center (EOC)/Declared State of Emergency early on during the pandemic and put plans in place to protect employees, residents and provide outstanding customer service while observing safety protocols during the crisis.

In addition, he said that 81 blighted structures have been demolished in the city since 2013. 

Burcroff was lauded with a letter of appreciation from American Progressive Association President Bronson Bell and video testimonials regarding the progress of the city under Burcroff's leadership were shared during the address. Romulus Fire Department Director of Fire Services and Emergency Management Chief Kevin Krause and Romulus Police Chief Robert Pfannes both spoke about the progress in the public safety departments during Burcroff's administration.

The mayor was also praised for his leadership and help by Chris Girdwood of the Detroit Region Aerotroplis Corp. and Jerry Frayer, who spoke both as a resident of the city and as the supervisor of Romulus Pubic Works.