City of Grand Rapids passes 2022 'continuation' budget
The City of Grand Rapids remains in strong fiscal shape despite the challenges of the pandemic, as the city commission adopted next year's fiscal budget Thursday.
According to city officials, the “$546 million spending plan continues current service levels and meets financial obligations for existing contractual agreements,” something other cities across the country have not been able to accomplish due to the pandemic, and indicating through a press release--that the fiscal responsibility and leadership of City Manager Mark Washington during the previous year deserves a lot of the credit.
City Manager Mark Washington says, that the city of Grand Rapids weathered the pandemic induced recession thanks in part to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, federal relief aid that allowed the city to avoid losses in 2021 and 2022.
"We thought that we would have to make additional reductions in funding, but we are so thrilled at the relief efforts that have been approved at the federal level that will allow us to continue to maintain essential city services," Washington said.
Either way, the city of Grand Rapids remains in good shape heading into the next fiscal year—and drastic cost cutting measures – such as service reductions, significant increases to fees, and staff layoffs – have been avoided.
Meanwhile, the city made it clear it will not be drastically defunding the police, as some have called for them to do in light of recent national police news. Despite a nearly three percent reduction in the overall fund, the police department still gets an increase of $665 thousand dollars in the next fiscal year.