Budget deliberations for the June 1, 2016- July 30, 2017 budget season are under way. On Thursday, February 25th the Mayor presented his $1 billion balanced general fund budget. Two major highlights are the $491 million pension fund deficit and the finding of $50 million in unspent bonds dating back to the 1980's. The Mayor has proposed to direct $10 million over the next two fiscal years towards the pension deficit and also allocate $11.7 million of the bond dollars towards improvements at 40 city owned parks. In addition, $7.5 million would be added to the Detroit Police Department's Real Time Crime Center, and $7 million towards building out the 8th Precinct.
Council will hear from over 20 city departments. Council Member Sheffield has requested that the following items be put into an executive session for further deliberations:
- Additional funding for the Forestry Division and hiring of artisans to handle dead and dangerous trees around lighting and on City and Detroit Land Bank Authority owned property.
- Status of State of Michigan Income Tax Return Fees and benefit to the City.
- Increased appropriations for property maintenance of Detroit Land Bank Authority Owned properties.
- Support for an increase in Fire and EMS salaries comparable to police.
- Continuance of funding and possibly an increase for home repair grants.
- Funding for additional compliance officers in the Human Rights Department to properly manage tax abated projects and compliance of all construction jobs to ensure Detroit participation on projects.
- Report on the methodology used to determine the fee structure for the services provided by the Detroit Building Authority.
- Request the Public Lighting Authority identify funding to provide additional street lighting where needed and to hire the staff needed to complete the work.
- Restore the Residential Street Cleaning program.
- Expand funding for the Health Department and requesting more funding from the State of Michigan for increased lead abatement.
- Request for a full complement of inspectors in Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department for Detroit Public Schools inspections.