City can count its financial blessings — for now

Recently the city received a needed shot in the arm, financially-speaking.
For the past several years, the city has been in deficit spending, burning through its budget surplus. And it was through no fault of anyone.
Simply, the city was spending more money than it was taking in.
A huge chunk of that cost is for police and fire services, and for funding the city’s pension system.
But now, a number of circumstances have come together that have resulted in an increase in revenue – which pretty much has resulted in the city taking in as much as it spends.
While some political leaders are patting themselves on the back for this financial blessing, we caution against being too optimistic.
Hamtramck’s financial history has been one of ups and downs. Oh sure, there is skill and knowledge involved in successfully painting the financial picture, but a lot of it has to do with forces the city has no control over.
It’s also not entirely certain how long this financial trend will last – as is the case in any year.
While there have been gains made, a major revenue source, the Wayne County Jail, is likely to close down within a year.
That’s because the county is building a new jail, and once it’s up and running, all of the county jails will be consolidated. That will result in a loss of about $1 million a year in revenue from the county.
It’s going to be a gut punch to the city, but hopefully one that can be absorbed.
There is one thing we have noticed about Hamtramck: for every two steps forward, we tend to then take on step back.
Posted March 24, 2023

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