Gladstone: How do we continue services?

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone City Commission will soon be looking for input from residents on how to continue providing city services – and if that requires raising taxes.

“What used to be about 50 percent of our revenue is from property taxes and now it’s about 57 percent only because the state share has dropped and the property taxes – it’s not growing,” said Mayor Joe Maki at Monday’s city commission meeting.

Because a lack of growth in taxable revenue and reduced state funding are limiting the city’s ability to provide services, one option on the table is to pass a millage increase.

“The discussion is, even if we have the authority to do so should we? … The whole point of the conversation is to sustain services and that’s an option to sustain the general fund,” said Commissioner Matt Gay.

The first of what the commission sees as a series of meetings on the topic is scheduled for May 19 at 7 p.m. No other topics will be discussed at this special meeting.

No matter how the meetings proceed, Maki sees the process as a way to set a precedence for future commissions.

“I don’t think we should be looking for any bailout from the state of Michigan so as we plan going forward I think we’re going to be helping ourselves,” he said.