Flint, MI—Negating months of work to incorporate its suggested amendments, Flint City Council adopted the city’s 2022/23 budget during a special meeting without any changes to Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s proposed plan.
Despite Flint City Councilman Eric Mays’ protest about the legitimacy of the motion to approve the budget and its subsequent vote, Flint City Council voted 5 to 1 to pass the budget as presented by the administration, effective July 1, 2022.
Councilwoman Tonya Burns cast the lone ‘no’ vote and Mays abstained from voting on the budget, which totals a little over $64.8 million in general fund expenditures. Councilman Quincy Murphy had been excused from the meeting prior to the vote and Councilman Dennis Pfeiffer did not attend the June 6, 2022 special meeting to approve.
Aside from adopting the city’s 22/23 fiscal year budget, Flint City Council also voted to renew existing millages, lower residents’ street lighting assessment fee but increase their waste management fee, and approve the city’s Master Fee Schedule.
Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the 22/23 budget adoption hearing:
Renewal of the 2022 operating millage for City of Flint Real and Personal Property
The council unanimously voted to adopt the 2022 operating millage of 19.10 mills on every dollar of all taxable property.
Here is a breakdown of where the mills will go:
7.50 mills for General City Operating Purposes
2.50 mills for retirement of debt, improvements, and other purposes provided in Section 7-201 of the city charter
2.00 mills for Police Services
0.50 mills for improvements and maintenance of City parks, forestry, and recreation purposes
0.60 mills for public transportation services by the Mass Transportation Authority
6.0 mills for Police and Fire services.
Renewal of the 2022 operating millage rate for the Downtown Development Authority
The council voted 6 to 2 to approve an operating millage rate of 1.8806 mills for the Downtown Development Authority’s operating budget for fiscal year 2022-2023.
Adopted a nearly $29 decrease for street lighting assessments
The council voted unanimously to adopt a decrease of roughly $29 for the street lighting assessment costs for the 2023 fiscal year. The cost per parcel for the July 2022 tax bill will be set at $72.18, and the funds will be used to provide for operational costs of the current system and enable upgrades and improvements to street lighting in the city.
Last year, the fee was $101.00, which was a decrease of 78 cents from 2020.
Increased user fees for waste collection costs by $35.09
The council was asked to vote on a resolution that would raise the waste collection user fee for residents from $167.47 to $202.56 per household—an increase of just more than $35. The council voted 5 to 3 in favor of increasing the waste collection user fee.
Adopted and implemented the 22/23 Master Fee Schedule
Council voted 5 to 2 to adopt the city’s proposed Master Fee Schedule, a document that enumerates fees for things like building permits, liquor sales licensing, inspections, and more across city departments. Mays was absent for the vote.
Councilwoman Allie Herkenroder made a motion to reduce the schedule’s $12,850 permit fee for developments costing over $1 million, saying the fee discourages the city’s economic development. The motion failed 2 to 6.
Councilman Mays also made a motion to reduce the schedule’s “water service fee” by $30, though he did not specify which of the schedule’s many water-related fees that might refer to. Mays’ motion failed 0 to 5, with Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter and Councilwoman Burns abstaining and Mays leaving his seat before the vote.
Declined to adopt a series of amendments providing American Rescue Plan Act funding to initiatives in policing, blight, and city employee premium pay
The council was divided on a series of proposed budget amendments brought forward by Mays, all of which failed.
Mays’ proposals were as follows:
Move $1,000,000 from the ARPA Fund to the General Fund for “advertising and recruitment” related to the Flint Police Department. The amendment failed for lack of a second.
Move $1,200,000 from the ARPA Fund to the General Fund for the purchase of cameras. The amendment failed with a 3 to 4 vote. Murphy had left the meeting at this time and following votes.
Move $2,000,000 from the ARPA Fund to the General Fund for funding additional civilian police employee salaries. The amendment failed with a 2 to 3 vote. Burns and Worthing had left the meeting at this time and following votes.
Move $2,100,000 from the ARPA Fund to the General Fund for the purpose of “blight elimination equipment and wages.” The amendment failed with a 2 to 3 vote.
Move $2,600,000 from the ARPA Fund to the General Fund for the purpose of “making additional premium payments to City employees.” The amendment failed with a 2 to 3 vote.
Both Councilwoman Ladel Lewis and Councilwoman Eva Worthing expressed that they would be interested in supporting the failed resolutions, but did not wish to “muddy the waters” by incorporating monies from the city’s ARPA Fund, which the city of Flint has hired a compliance firm to help manage, into the General Fund.