New budget allows for investment in infrastructure, communityNovember 20, 2017
The city will be starting the new year off right with a structurally balanced general fund for the 11th year in a row.
City Council will begin considering the $129.65 million total budget at tonight’s regularly scheduled meeting and will hold hearings on the budget in the coming weeks.
“The budget submitted to City Council is balanced which means revenues are greater than expenses,” Mayor Michael Summers said. “It shows the city continues to use careful planning and to build fiscal strength and also preserves our ability to provide services to our citizens. It invests in infrastructure, equipment, information technology, and most importantly, our workforce.”
Finance Director Jennifer Pae said the budget features a conservative projection of revenues with flat property and income taxes in 2018 in addition to keeping the number of full-time employees steady.
“The city has continued to gain fiscal strength even with the loss of an estimated $3 million annually beginning in 2013 with the 50 percent reduction in local government funding and the elimination of the estate tax,” she said. “Despite the end of inpatient services at Lakewood Hospital and New York Life offices moving to downtown Cleveland, the city’s income taxes remain steady due to increased wages, new companies and new residences.”
In addition to the city’s strategic objectives and priorities that focus on vibrant neighborhoods, a safe and secure city, sound government and economic development, City Council undertook a budget prioritization process during 2017 to develop these investments they wanted to see in the 2018 budget, including:
- Full court basketball at Madison Park
- Shade structures at Foster Pool
- Upgrade to Webb Park
- Curb replacement
- Creating a public art plan for the city
- Implementing Lakewood’s Bicycle Master Plan
- Acquire and install electric vehicle charging stations
- Lakewood Park recycling pilot program
- Supporting Project Supporting Opiate Addiction Recovery, or SOAR
- Focusing on clean and renewable energy
All of these projects are funded and are expected to begin during 2018 as well as $24 million in infrastructure improvements, including the water and sewer system, streets, parks, vehicles and equipment.
“It is essential that Lakewood continue to live within our means while improving our service levels to our citizens,” Summers said. “Equally important is creating the capacity to invest in our second century. This budget achieves all of the above.”
The 2018 budget and other financial documents can be found online by clicking here.