City manager proposes budget increase

Grand Rapids Downtown Skyline, file photo courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

The first quarter of 2024 is barely over, and the city is already planning for next year.

City Manager Mark Washington met with the Grand Rapids City Commission on Wednesday, April 23 to deliver his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2025. The proposed fiscal plan includes $690 million in total appropriations across all funds— an overall increase of 8.6% from the FY24 adopted budget.

According to a press release from the City of Grand Rapids, transformational investments, and essential services were the drivers of FY25 proposed budget, and a slight property tax millage decrease was proposed. It states the proposed $690 million spending plan, including $186 million in the General Fund, will be necessary to continue accomplishing strategic objectives, while making “transformational” investments.

“The FY25 Preliminary Fiscal Plan builds upon investments made in prior fiscal years and allows us to be consistent with our values and vision,” Washington said. The estimated decrease of 0.0781 mills (0.1% under FY24) will maintain recycling, refuse, and other services at their FY24 level.

The proposed General Operating Fund appropriation for FY25 is $185,656,848— an increase of 3.9% over the FY24 adopted budget. The significant drivers of this increase are higher prices for goods and services, as well as competitive wage and benefit increases included in labor agreements completed during FY23.

New Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington, Photo courtesy of City of Austin, 2017.
Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington. Courtesy photo.

“This proposed fiscal plan will help address many important issues related to safety, health, environment, mobility, economic prosperity, housing, community engagement and governmental excellence. It will allow us to continue delivering governmental services and resources in a strategic, equitable, transparent and data-driven way that benefits all residents. It includes thoughtful fiscal planning that helps us execute many strategic priorities and City Commission focus areas while navigating the challenges of limited revenues, rising material and labor costs, and increased service demands and regulatory requirements.”

The public is invited to participate by watching and sharing their thoughts on the City’s proposed spending plan. The review schedule for the proposed FY25 budget unfolds as follows:

On Tuesday, April 30, a budget review workshop is scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. This session will focus on topics such as Safe Community, Economic Prosperity & Affordability, Governmental Excellence, and Engaged & Connected Community.

Moving forward to Tuesday, May 7, another budget review workshop is set to take place during the Committee of the Whole meeting at 10 a.m. This session will involve discussions concerning the Vital Streets Oversight Commission, Mobility, Health & Environment, and Stormwater Oversight Commission.

If necessary, a Special City Commission Meeting will convene on Tuesday, May 14, at 5 p.m., followed by the City Commission Budget Public Hearing at 7 p.m. Those who wish to comment on the FY25 proposed budget in-person are invited to attend the 7 p.m. May 14 public hearing or scheduled budget review workshops. Written comments can be submitted to the

On Tuesday, May 21, the budget deliberations will resume during the COW meeting at 10 a.m., and later that same day, the City Commission Adoption is scheduled for 7 p.m.

All workshops, meetings and the public hearing will air on Comcast Channel 26 and be live streamed on the City of Grand Rapids Facebook page and YouTube channel. They also will be streamed live in Spanish HERE.

To download various documents related to the FY25 Preliminary Fiscal Plan, CLICK HERE.




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