The top administrator of the City of Adrian, Shane Horn, spoke to audience members today. He started with the City on 1992. Prior to becoming Administrator worked in the Utilities Department for 19 years and became its Director. Shane was appointed Administrator in November of 2013. He is married to his wife, Michelle (currently employed at Gleaners), and they have a son, Brad (a former Junior Rotarian) who is a sophomore at CMU, and a daughter who is a senior at AHS.
Shane began by thanking our club for its involvement in the community adding that is was very much appreciated. Some of the information he shared was: A new City budget year begins officially the end of this month. Projected revenues for the 2016-17 General Fund are $9.1 million with an equal amount in expenses. Fiscal year budget is expected to be $29.4 million. A 1.5% increase was approved to all employees; health care costs will increase by 7% (Priority Health replaced BC/BS who wanted a 36% increase over last year which was cost prohibitive); rates for sewer and water inceased 2% equating to about a$1,41 per month increase to the average user; $40,500 was appropriated for capital improvements next year (down from what started out amounting to $400,000+); a slight increase in real property values; and a reduction of 3 firefighters due to retirement and attrition (current staff at 15 fulltime). A FEMA grant several years ago did fund 3 firefighters which was not renewed.
Revenues for the City come from essentially 2 sources, Shane said, property taxes (55%) and state revenue sharing (23%) both of which have been drastically impacted the past 6 or 7 years resulting in a reduction in services. An additional 10% of revenue comes from the park system. Relative to expenses, publicity accounts for the largest chunk – account for a little over 50% of the general fund. Residential and commercial property values amount to $177.3 million. The average home price in the city is $72,000. In order to recover what the city has lost over the years, taking into account the rate of inflation, it will take the city until 2035 to get back to the revenues enjoyed in 2006-2007, Shane said.
The current charter millage levied by the city is 13.6293 mils. The Headlee Rollback was defeated in 2013 which would have increased the millage back to 15 mil level. Consequently, the city loses some $500k per year as a result. The commission approved a 1 mil levy for local street improvements and a millage for the former Adrian Public Library was levied for then new “District Library” which has a favorable impact on city finances. Staffing levels within municipal government nationwide is 16.4 employees per 1,000 population. In Michigan that average is 12.2/per 1,000. In Adrian, the figure is 5.6/per 1,000!
Projects that Shane highlighted include: Curbside spring pickup, the development of Chomp Burgers, several new Dollar General Stores have been built, Dunham’s in the Adrian Mall, grants approved to combat blight ($325k), the new proposed Aubree’s restaurant in front of the Adrian Mallthe exciting Strongback project in downtown Adrian and the new Gaslight Village.
Shane concluded his presentation by sharing with us various options the city was considering to generate additional revenue including a City Income Tax which, at this time, lacks commission support would generate approximately $4 million at which time the millage would be rolled back to 6.8 mils for city residents, Shane said. “A lot of momentum is going on” all over the city. Thanks, Shane, for a very interesting and comprehensive presentation.