Cities look forward to 2016

Neighborhood and industry redevelopment plans underway

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 6, 2016

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With 2015 in the books, administrators in Roseville and Eastpointe are ready to move into 2016 with continued redevelopment and infrastructure repair programs.

In Eastpointe, Assistant City Manager Randy Altimus said the city administration is ready to jump into 2016 with budget planning. While the next budget is not due until the end of June, officials spend a good deal of time between January and April hammering out the details of the year’s spending, he said, including what projects to undertake and when.

“We’re trying to figure out what capital projects we want to tackle, if there are any big ones we want to move ahead, or any we want to move back,” Altimus said. “We readjust it every year based on what we can accomplish from one year to the next. I’ve been playing with it for a couple days, but we won’t have it nailed down until (the) very end of the budget process.”

Altimus added that the public safety millage passed last February has stabilized city finances and taken “a little bit of the heat off.”

City Manager Steve Duchane said that millage has allowed city officials to plan for the long-term future with that budget, which had previously been in “lockdown” after the financial crisis hit in 2008.

“We are now able to do some things that make more use of money and more strategic use of money, and how to fund our long-term capital plan effectively,” Duchane said.

Aside from infrastructure and capital projects, Duchane said the city is working on an industrial redevelopment project that will bring an “industrial development district” before City Council — which would help offset the cost of redeveloping the property — though he declined to speak on specifics at press time.

He said they also want to make further improvements to Spindler Park, including a training area, a small nature education center, and a grant to improve the bicycle trails and connections to other city parks.

In the middle of all those local projects, Altimus said, there is also the presidential election to contend with. Altimus said the presidential primary election in March, the August primary and the November general election are all going to need attention and resources this year.

In Roseville, City Manager Scott Adkins said they plan on continuing the redevelopment efforts underway in 2015, but to focus more on the neighborhoods and residential side.

“We want to revitalize the neighborhoods and continue to get vacant properties brought up to code and owner-occupied — that’s a preference,” Adkins said. “We hope to be working with the Roseville Community Schools in a concerted effort in 2016 to attract new residents to Roseville — what we’re calling a ‘Return Home to Roseville’ strategy.”

Adkins said he also is aiming for better code enforcement across the board, and he wants to see about grants and tree plantings. More specifically, Adkins said he would like to work with property owners along major corridors in the city to beautify their land.

The city’s “gateways” from neighboring communities should be getting spruced up this year with new signage, flower gardens and lighting, he added.

The city does have some infrastructure projects that officials want to get done in 2016, Adkins said, including the grant-funded reconstruction of Edison Drive. The city also wants to get some more residential streets reconstructed this year, though Adkins did not have specifics at press time; he said they are trying to work with county and state officials to do work on major streets this year.

“We are also undertaking cooperative projects right now with walkability,” Adkins said. “Connecting pathways and sidewalks together, so we can better connect schools to parks, neighborhoods to neighborhoods, and neighborhoods to downtown.”

Finally, when it comes to public safety, Adkins said they hope to achieve full police staffing in 2016 for the first time since the recession hit.

The department has already been able to reinstitute the traffic bureau, he added.

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