Flint, MI— After a bout of confusion including why they were meeting, video streaming issues, and missing account numbers, Flint City Council moved forward with a number of amendments for the city’s 2022-2023 fiscal year budget during a May 31, 2022 meeting.
Flint City Councilman Dennis Pfeiffer and Councilwoman Eva Worthing were absent from the meeting, which marked the final in a marathon of budget hearings held with various city departments since April 14.
The city is required to adopt its budget with or without amendment by June 6, 2022. Below is a summary of proposals put forward by council members at the final meeting ahead of that vote.
- Proposal by Flint City Councilwoman Allie Herkenroder to decrease the “Supplies and Operating Expenses” line item in the General Fund budget by one percent, representing a $168,428 savings. Passed 5-2, with Flint City Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter and Councilwoman Tonya Burns voting ‘no’
- Proposal by Flint City Councilman Quincy Murphy and amended by Councilman Eric Mays to move $150,000 from the General Fund to the Ombudsman Office for operating costs. Mays and Burns suggested part of that allocation should be used by the Ethics and Accountability Board for investigations. Passed 6-1, with Flint City Councilwoman Judy Priestley voting ‘no.’
- Proposal by Mays to allocate $25,000 each to Hasselbring Senior Center and Brennan Senior Center from the General Fund. Passed 7-0.
- Proposal by Murphy to allocate $50,000 to Haskell Community Center from Flint’s more than $90 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. Passed 7-0.
- Proposal brought forth on request of CFO Widigan to transfer $8,145,000 from ARPA funding to the General Fund to make up for lost revenue. Widigan explained that the transfer would help reduce a projected General Fund deficit of around 14 million to around 6 million, and keep the city in compliance with Ordinance 3851—which requires the city to maintain “unrestricted reserves” between 12 to 15 percent of general fund expenditures at all times. Passed 7-0.
- Proposal brought forth by Mays to transfer $100,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Works for tree debris removal. Mays said the money was needed because Consumers Energy is not cleaning up cut branches after doing their work on the north end of Flint. Multiple council members, including Mays, Murphy, and Flint City Councilwoman Ladel Lewis, noted there was further need to contact Consumers Energy regarding their tree removal policy in addition to granting the $100,000 to DPW. Passed 7-0.
- Proposal by Priestley to eliminate $280,703.81 from the Office of the Mayor’s budget by removing positions that would be added between 2022 to 2023. Failed 4-3, with Lewis, Murphy, and Winfrey-Carter voting ‘no.’
- Proposal by Pfeiffer, who was absent from the meeting, to reduce the Planning and Development Department’s budget by $250,000, making its final budget to 10% over the prior fiscal year. Failed 6-0 with an abstention from Mays.
Before adjourning, Mays noted that he expected to bring forth further amendment proposals in the categories of public safety and blight at the June 6 budget adoption meeting.
The time and location for that meeting have not yet been announced.