Pleasant Ridge sets goals, objectives for 2021 fiscal year

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 9, 2021


PLEASANT RIDGE — Pleasant Ridge has a laundry list of goals, which includes topics ranging from municipal infrastructure to continuing its parks and recreation efforts, that it hopes to complete in its next fiscal year.

At its March 9 meeting, the City Commission approved its goals and objectives for its upcoming 2021-22 fiscal year. The document communicates to the public what Pleasant Ridge wishes to accomplish through its budget.

“The annual Goals and Objectives serve as a basis for making budget decisions and work priorities for City Staff over the coming year,” a city document states. “When considering various projects and funding decisions during the budget process, the City Commission may evaluate the various options and determine which ones to fund based on how well each project or line item aligns with the Goals and Objectives statement.”

The goals span eight categories: maintain a safe and secure community, ensure good stewardship of municipal infrastructure, maintain financial sustainability, maintain excellent parks and recreation programs, preserve and enhance community and neighborhood character, foster community trust and participation, strive for excellence in governance, and protect the environment.

City Manager James Breuckman said during the meeting that this is a process Pleasant Ridge goes through every year, and that it’s useful for city staff to help prepare the budget and prioritize their work plan for the year.

“The goals and objectives largely stay consistent from year to year, but there’s always a few updates we make as things drop off, when new things pop in,” he said. “This year, we have a few COVID-related items that have made their way in there, because that’s a lot of what we’ve been dealing with.”

COVID-related goals that made the list included maintaining “clean, safe, and sanitary conditions” at city facilities and adjusting city services and events to protect the health of residents and city staff.

Under the city’s municipal infrastructure objective, goals range from lead service line and water main replacements, to improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure and continuing a maintenance program for previously reconstructed streets and alleys.

The water infrastructure in Pleasant Ridge is a concern for Commissioner Ann Perry, who told the Woodward Talk that it’s going to take a lot of work to repair.

“Pleasant Ridge very much sits on very sandy soil,” she said. “We have been enormously lucky, sort of, over the past many years where a lot of our infrastructure, like our water infrastructure, has held tight. Like a lot of our water mains are still a 100-year-old infrastructure, and they don’t break because they just sort of shift with the sand. The hard thing now is we’re gonna have to do the lead service lines. You can’t really tap into these 100-year-old water mains, because then they’re going to break. So we’re gonna have to do some replacement for that at the same time. It’s a big project and very expensive.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parks and recreation facilities and programs weren’t utilized in 2020. The city hopes to change that in 2021.

Perry said she’s sure the pool at the recreation center will be opening this year.

“It was so tough last year that we really couldn’t open it, which is very hard on the community because it tends to be a big part of the families’ summers,” she said. “We were in the middle of a pandemic, so it was not something that city staff, the recreation staff or the majority of the commission felt comfortable trying to open. This year, we’re really excited and we are still waiting for all of the different criteria and what the restrictions might be from the state and the county, but we know it will look better than it would have looked last year if we would have tried to open it.”

Perry added that the biggest hurdle with the pool as of now is that the city doesn’t have any lifeguards signed up for the summer. She’s hoping those who are interested will reach out to the city.