Ypsilanti City Council preview: Final budget reading and command officers tentative agreement on the agenda
The Ypsilanti City Council has a full agenda set for tonight’s meeting. Here’s a look at what will be discussed:
The council will have its final reading of the 2012-13 and 2013-14 budgets, which will be adopted as an ordinance if approved.
During its June 5 meeting, the council voted unanimously in favor of the budgets that would allow the city to realize a surplus instead of a deficit.
Across all funds, the budget shows $31.8 million in revenue and $31.6 million in expenditures for fiscal year 2012-13, including $13.7 million in general fund spending.
For fiscal year 2013-14, revenue will show a slight decrease to $30.7 million and expenditures will amount to $30.6 million. The city is expected to spend about $13.4 million of the general fund.
Council member Peter Murdock proposed budget amendments that created a surplus of $8,682 in 2012-13 and $382,514 in 2014-15.
Although the budgets do not have any proposed actual layoffs, positions will be eliminated by attrition in some of the city departments including fire and police.
Command officers tentative settlement agreement
The current collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Command Officers’ Association of Michigan is set to expire June 30 and representatives have been negotiating the terms of a new two-year agreement since March.
Parameters were set by the council over the course of several meetings and included:
- The city cannot risk losing the vast majority of the police department command staff all at the same time, including Chief Amy Walker. The city will attempt to keep a majority of the COAM employees from following through on their planned and officially noticed retirements.
- The city will not inhibit employees from seeking promotions from the Police Officers Association of Michigan into the COAM by creating a “lesser” benefit package for them in the COAM than what they received as members of the POAM.
- With the tentative agreement, the city seeks to demonstrate to the taxpaying public that it is moving toward lesser, lower cost benefits and pensions. While some cost savings will be immediate, the most significant of the savings will be realized in the long-term.
The city’s Administrative Services Manager David Kowal sought actuarial valuations of the pension fund changes before the city adopts any changes.
Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company, a provider of actuarial and benefits consulting services, determined the expected increase in employer contribution rates that would result from proposed benefit changes.
Currently, the COAM benefit provisions is 3 percent of the average final compensation times the first 25 years of service, plus 1 percent.
Proposed COAM benefit provisions for members hired prior to July 1 of this year state that the straight life pension equals 3 percent of AFC for service earned before July 1, 2.25 percent of AFC for service earned on or after July 1, 2012 for the first 25 years of service plus 1 percent of AFC times years of service in excess of 25 years.
For members hired on or after July 1, the pension will equal 2 percent of AFC for all years of service with the city and members shall contribute a minimum of 10 percent of AFC toward the pension fund.
The employer will pay additional amounts up to a maximum employer contribution of 16. 2 percent of AFC. The employee will be required to pay any remaining contributions.
Amendments to City Code regarding peddlers and solicitors
Council will decide tonight whether to amend the current ordinance to include changes regarding peddlers and solicitors.
During the end of Eastern Michigan University’s winter semester, a van called the “Bookmobile” was parked in a city owned metered space along Cross Street. The van was being used for buying used textbooks from EMU students but the company did not have a permit to conduct the business.
The occupation of the space and the congestion of the sidewalk and street interfered with the business of some established local businesses, according to City Attorney John Barr.
When trying to figure out how to deal with this, the city realized the issue did not fit squarely within any of the definitions found in the City Code for such merchants because the business was buying, not selling merchandise.
The discovery led to the need to update the code to more broadly define forms of business and prevent issues with other mobile services that have been offered in other municipalities, such as pawn shops and adult entertainment.
Approval of MDOT contract
Council will examine and possibly approve the 2012 West Cross Street Project contract.
Funding has been programmed in the Washtenaw County Transportation Improvement Program for resurfacing of the West Cross Street between Wallace Street and Washtenaw Avenue.
The project includes concrete paving removal, resurfacing with asphalt, some sidewalk repairs, parking improvements, bike lanes and curb replacement. The total resurfacing cost is estimated at $544,500. Federal funds are expected to contribute $325,000 to the project, and the city will pay $219,000.
The road project was coordinated with the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority to include water main and hydrant replacement, which is expected to cost $486,600.
The fiscal year 2011-12 budget allocated funding for the design and construction engineering services needed for the project and construction costs were allocated for the 2012-13 budget.
Click here to look at tonight's entire agenda.