By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — After months of budget workshops and study sessions, the City Council passed the 2019-20 budget totaling $357.18 million during a special meeting June 5 at the Dearborn Administrative Center, 16901 Michigan Ave.
Councilwoman Erin Byrnes was out of town for work and not in attendance.
The $357.18 million in revenue includes all funds combined and is a $52 million decrease in revenues from the 2018-19 budget. For the upcoming year, expenditures will total $337.72 million, leaving a $19.45 million fund balance.
Under the general fund, the approved budget is $133.45 million with $132.35 in expenditures for a total in revenues of $1.1 million. The 2019-20 general fund revenues increased $4.27 million from 2018-19, according to the city’s budget documents.
The approved city tax rate will be 26.70 mills, up from 26.35 mill in 2018-19 for a .35-mill increase.
The general operating millage is set at 18.5 mills, the garbage and rubbish millage at 1.91 mills, library millage at 1.69 mills and combined sewer overflow debt millage at 4.6 mills, which is the cause of the increase from the previous year.
Position changes in the 2019-20 budget general fund are adding eight dispatchers and one dispatch manager under police; adding one full-time supervisor, one part-time technician and reducing one full-time electrician under public works; adding one full-time city assessor, adding one full-time commercial and industrial appraiser, reduction of one part-time city assessor and two part-time assessors under administrative; and adding one part-time museum assistant under the Dearborn Historical Museum.
For all other departments, one contracted custodian was eliminated in housing, two driver/laborers and one technician — all part time — were added under sewer, and one CAD designer added in engineering.
As for changes in budgets by departments, the Dearborn Police Department saw a $300,000 reduction with a purpose of increase in negative contingency with the same $300,000 cut in the Dearborn Fire Department and Property Maintenance & Development Services for negative contingency listed as the purpose.
The city clerk also saw a $75,000 reduction, and the local street fund and community development funds increased $105,320 each as a result of additional funding from the Community Development Block Grant.
Councilman Brian O’Donell told Finance Director and Treasurer Ginger Burke-Miller that she and her team have done an “amazing job” with the budget process.
“I know we’ve mentioned all year, but we’ve continued to change, add, subtract and I know that requires changes on your part,” O’Donell said. “This process — having sat through 10 now — I think everyone can agree this one felt good for many reasons. It was really a smooth process and up until the last minute we still have changes. There’s never been a dull moment for you.”
Council President Susan Dabaja said the council has worked hard and diligently to move the budget along.
“Council takes this process very seriously, and I’ve been — this is my sixth year of doing this — and I think each year its become a lot more involved, questions and digging to make sure that as financial stewards of our tax dollars we’re making the best possible decisions in terms of how to spread that dollar, meeting all the services we’ve come to expect living in Dearborn and ultimately making sure that we’re setting the stage for a good future moving forward for generations to come.”
View the 2019-20 budget and budget documents here.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])