GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The leaders of Grand Rapids have said goodbye a spending plan of $ 546 million for the period 2021-2022 This includes investments in the homeless outreach team and further funding of the Youth Summer Jobs Program and about $ 670,000 more to the police.

The budget, which comes into effect on July 1st, has largely been billed as a “going concern budget” by the city administration as it maintains the current level of services and staff.

With an estimated income tax shortage of $ 36 million in the coming and final fiscal year, the planned spending of around $ 92.3 million in U.S. bailout dollars will be carried into the city, with the first half expected to arrive this summer .

Local income taxes averaged 70% of the General Fund’s income. The proposed general expenditure for the new budget will be US $ 156 million.

The city commission unanimously approved the budget on Thursday morning, May 20th.

Connected: Grand Rapids is proposing a slight increase in the police budget, with dollars for affordable housing in the spending plan

“This has been a challenging year for everyone.” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “I am grateful for the federal funds that will enable us to press ahead with stabilizing our budget and hopefully survive this financially sound pandemic. In addition, this budget is in line with the priorities this Commission discussed and set during our mid-year retreat and moves us forward in each of our strategic priority areas. “

The six short-term priorities of the city commission, which were set for the budget last autumn, are: Housing and homelessness; COVID-19 Relief and Economic Recovery Including Health Effects; Public security reform; Crime prevention / violence reduction; and tax sustainability and discipline.

The budget for the Homeless Outreach Team is $ 1.5 million to maintain the current level of police and fire services. The team was formed in April 2020 in collaboration with Netzwerk 180 to help the city’s homeless population cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, expanding the scope and mission of the team was discussed.

Connected: Grand Rapids’ homeless outreach team would like to add addiction specialists and social workers

City officials announced efforts in March Doubling the number of young people employed in the summer career program launched last year. The budget for the GRow1000 youth initiative, which includes private investments, is US $ 1.2 million. The city is donating $ 250,000. Last year, companies in the city and the region temporarily employed 350 young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Some of the other highlights in the budget are $ 1.74 million for service line replacement in the third division, $ 2.2 million for lead refurbishment in homes, and $ 405,000 for the Office of Supervision and Public Accountability.

Starting this summer, the city commission will look for ways to add another $ 10.2 million to the American bailout plan.

City Manager Mark Washington recommended the following investments with these dollars:

  • $ 2 million for Focus Third Division and / or Neighborhoods;
  • $ 1 million for healing from violence;
  • $ 1 million to implement a behavioral medicine practitioner response to police calls regarding mental health;
  • $ 5 million to create affordable housing; and more.

Washington has also proposed allocating $ 2 million to a “participatory budgeting process,” in which residents have some direct say in the investment of the US dollar.

Washington’s recommendations would provide the city with approximately $ 19.3 million in federal funding over the next three fiscal years that is outside of budget deficit coverage.

For nearly a year as widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice gripped the nation, there were some activists and parishioners have asked the city guides to devalue the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Connected: Opinions for and against “defusing the police” were voiced to Grand Rapids city commissioners

Defunding usually meant cutting the Police Department’s share of the General Fund’s budget to the minimum of 32% required by the Charter and reallocating that cut to social assistance and community investment.

The division’s share of the General Fund will decrease from 38.6% in the current budget to 35.8% in the budget from July 1st.

However, the department’s spending will actually increase by about $ 670,000 to about $ 55.81 million in the upcoming budget, even if several unworn employees are removed from the department.

The main reason the department’s share of the budget has decreased, but not its spending, is that overall fund spending is growing faster than the department’s spending.

In the upcoming budget, capital expenditures will increase by approximately 27% from approximately USD 75.16 million to USD 96 million compared to the current budget.

Capital investments include projects such as converting all street lights to LED, repairing roads and sidewalks, and repairing and upgrading urban facilities.

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