Thursday, June 16, 2022

Westland approves 3-year balanced budget

Members of the Westland City Council unanimously approved a 3-year balanced budget proposal for fiscal years 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 presented by Mayor William R. Wild during a recent meeting. The 3-year budget proposal preserves a “rainy day” fund balance of approximately $6.7 million. 

Highlights of proposed $72.4 million 2022-23 budget include: an overall taxable value increase of 6.15 percent derived from new development and rising real estate values in the city; $5.5 million for improvements to major and local roads throughout the city in 25 neighborhoods including 51 major and local roads; $4.7 million for an expansion to the William P. Faust Westland Public Library; $4.38 million for planned water and sewer capital projects in six neighborhoods and 41 roads throughout the 611 miles of water and sewer systems in the city and $2.8 million for the establishment of a brand new, all-inclusive playscape at Tattan Park,

The budget also includes funding for the creation of two additional positions within the Economic Development Department; a Business Retention and Expansion Coordinator and a Business Attraction Coordinator.

In addition, the budget provides for additional retiree healthcare contributions of $438,500; four new budgeted positions in the Water and Sewer Department to staff a planned basement flooding mitigation team; funding through a partnership with the Wayne-Westland School District to implement a new crossing guard safety program which offers high level training, equipment and uniforms and doubles the current staffing numbers; $150,000 to continue the voluntary Retiree Healthcare Cash Settlement Program, which received four interested retirees in the 2021-22 fiscal year, saving approximately $800,000 and funding to allow for the continuation of the popular Neighborhood Makeover Program, now entering the fifth year. 

“The City of Westland achieved a major financial milestone in the history of the city with the adoption of this 3-year balanced budget,” commented Wild. “The city is in a strong financial position and a 3-year balanced budget is a recognized best practice in local government. It is indicative of the spirit of cooperation and the shared values on good governance and excellence shared between the administration and city council.” 

City Council President James Hart also praised the extended budget. 

“Coming out of the pandemic, the city is only utilizing less than 20 percent of its ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) allocation to replace lost revenue and establish a 3-year balanced budget, which is something the council, administration and our residents can be very proud of,” Hart said.