City of Kalamazoo Approves 2018 Budget

Jan 2, 2018

Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo says its 2018 budget reflects continued improvement in its finances, brought about in part by a public-private partnership.

Commissioners approved an approximately $177 million appropriation on Tuesday. That includes money for more than two dozen new jobs, including several in public safety and public services.

It’s a reversal from recent budgets, when the city cut staff to make ends meet. Since last year Kalamazoo’s finances have been sustained in part by a private donation, the start of a campaign to build an endowment for the city. Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema says the city is now in good financial health.

“We’re fiscally stable, we’ve got a balanced budget and a balanced five-year plan which is important, so the future is bright for Kalamazoo,” he said.

The city will also set its general fund balance at a minimum of 15 percent of revenue going forward. Deputy City Manager Patsy Moore says that in leaner times, the minimum was 13 percent.

“We feel that 15 percent is the standard and we are happy to be able to get back to that level,” she told the Commission on Tuesday.

The new budget does not raise property taxes, though the city does appear likely to raise rates for water and sewer customers.