Again, we will have a Budget Workshop prior to the council meeting but this workshop will start at 5:30 PM. Our discussion will focus on Information Technology (IT) and its larger impact on the operation and management of the city. You should have been sent a PowerPoint by Anisa Williams that reviews where the city is and where it needs to be in terms of a secure and functional IT program for years to come. Although the PowerPoint is intentionally done in a format that is fun and informative, it defines a few critical elements of Monday night’s discussion.
We will provide DRAFT C Monday night at the budget workshop which reduces the deficit to slightly over $161,000 from the original DRAFT A of over $500,000 in the red. We have a fund balance to support it but our job as policy makers and budget engineers is to make decisions on the needs of today in context of the financial future of the city. There will also be a Public Hearing on the 2016-2017 Budget.
As always, I wish all of you an enjoyable and safe weekend. Have some fun and don’t forget to contact me if you have any questions regarding this memo and the enclosed agenda.
Monday night at 5:30 pm we have a budget workshop. We are starting thirty-minutes early as the subject matter is information technology. This subject is a bit in depth as we are proposing a number of significant changes to accommodate the city’s ever increasing reliance on technology.
Water Project Phase I
Staff met with Prein&Newhof this week to review the design perimeters of the 60th Avenue Booster Station upgrade. The timeline on when the engineering will be completed is forthcoming. I suggested a rather aggressive timeline for the reconstruction of the booster station that may or may not be practical. As always I will keep you updated on the progress of this project.
WWTP Project Phase II
Grand Rapids has provided the city with more details on their proposal to take Fairlife waste from Coopersville. Jonathan Seyferth and I have just started studying what those numbers mean and whether their option is viable under the time restraints that are ever looming. As always, I will keep Council and the Utility Advisory Committee (UAC) updated as more information becomes available.
Ottawa County Central Dispatch (911)
Central Dispatch is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. Saturday May 21, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM there is an open house at Central Dispatch, 12101 Stanton Street, West Olive (Fillmore Campus). As this date becomes closer we will provide updated information as received.
Two weeks ago the below text was included. These words still remain as a reminder of future tasks we as a group will ultimately embrace. Some areas you may what to begin thinking about, but certainly not limited to, are:
- Economic development
- Future recreation facilities
- Utilization of Deer Creek watershed that runs through the city
- Future of utility expansion
- Issues of aesthetics for new construction, parks, and gateways into the city
- Regional planning
- Long-term vision for sidewalk maintenance and new construction
- Bike trails
- Road Maintenance and Reconstruction Policy
- Public safety
The arrival of our Assistant City Manager Jonathan Seyferth has allowed more attention and time to revise the City’s Master Plan (Comprehensive Plan). I would like to begin exercises in strategic planning from the City Council as to how we want to control the city’s future. Yes, the Planning Commission does extensive work and drafts the Master Plan, and will perform professionally in that task. But the City Council must take action on the approval/disapproval of that plan. According to the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) and Gerald L. Gordon PHD, strategic planning is:
“…a means of understanding change, forecasting change, and setting a course of action to manage the expected implications of change. Even in the most negative situations in the life of a community, strategic planning is a positive means of moving forward.”
City Council must begin a conversation of where you want the community to grow and what our future will look like in the next five, ten, and twenty-five years. More information will come to you in the next few months.