The First Amendment Sub Committee Report has been drafted and is currently being reviewed by members of the Sub-Committee. The final report will be presented to the City Commission in January. A web page will be created in which community members will be able to access checklists for organizing events, instructions for reserving public parks, a frequently asked questions page, and other useful guides. The report and related documents will be shared with community stakeholders, including organizers, legal observers, and media representatives prior to its presentation.
With winter weather on the horizon, City of Kalamazoo residents are reminded to do their part to keep sidewalks clear of ice and snow.
City ordinance requires property owners to clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties within 48 hours of snowfall. Property owners are also responsible for applying salt, sand, or other material to prevent the sidewalks from being slippery within 12 hours of snowfall. Violations of this ordinance are a municipal civil infraction and carry a penalty starting at $50 for the first offense. If the issue is not addressed, the City may arrange for snow removal at the owner’s expense.
“Many of our friends and neighbors rely on sidewalks to stay connected,” said Anthony Ladd, Public Works Manager for the City. “Even if you don’t use sidewalks often, please do your part and help everyone travel safely.”
Residents are encouraged to be cautious when shoveling, especially during extreme cold. Always dress appropriately for the conditions. If you can, lend a hand to family, friends, or neighbors who may have difficulty shoveling.
Community members can report violations of this ordinance during business hours by calling 311 (or (269) 337-8000) or by visiting www.kalamazoocity.org/report.
The City of Kalamazoo shared its proposed 2021 budget which, if approved, would expand city services and increase capital investment, even amidst the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The 2021 proposed budget encompasses the community’s vision and values, and aligns with the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “City budgets everywhere have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the prudent steps we took this year allows us to present a 2021 budget that is fiscally responsible, improves services and continues to make our city a great place to live, work, raise a family or start a small business.”
The 2021 proposal includes General Fund expenditures of $68.3 million, representing an overall increase of 1.03% when compared to the Adopted 2020 Budget. Total budgeted expenditures for all funds is $213.9 million, representing an increase of 5.29% from the 2020 Adopted Budget total of $203.1 million.
The proposed 2021 budget would increase capital investments, including to water and wastewater utilities, to replace and repair aging infrastructure. It also would increase funding for streets projects, such as Portage Street from Stockbridge to Michigan, and fund significant improvements to the Kalamazoo Famers Market as well as the construction of a new Public Safety Station in the Edison Neighborhood, among other capital projects. Because of thoughtful planning and fiscal responsibility, the budget allows the city to maintain its current level of police and fire services.
In addition, the 2021 budget proposal adds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion coordinator role and a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety community collaborator role. Additional funding in the Public Safety Budget would be available for social service intervention.
“A fiscally responsible budget supports the City’s mission of building a strong, connected, equitable community, with safe neighborhoods, vibrant large and small businesses, accessible parks, recreational opportunities, well maintained streets and sidewalks and clean water ,” said Mayor David Anderson. “The proposed 2021 budget will help ensure the City of Kalamazoo is a great place to live, work, raise a family and grow a business for all and the Commission looks forward to reviewing it at our work session.”
This is the fifth City of Kalamazoo budget to benefit from funding from the Foundation for Excellence (FFE), which will surpass $120 million in 2021. Since 2017, the FFE has provided funding to reduce property taxes citywide while investing millions of dollars each year to help fund aspirational projects and supplement the city’s general fund.
The City Commission will review the proposed budget during a work session on Monday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m., which will be conducted electronically via Zoom and streamed live to the City’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The City Commission is expected to schedule a public hearing on the 2021 budget in January, as the city charter requires that a budget be approved by Jan. 31 each year.
The proposed budget is available online at www.kalamazoocity.org/budgets.