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The state of Marysville is fiscally sound and recreationally vibrant

A screenshot of Mayor Wayne Pyden delivering his state of Marysville address March 28.

By Jim Bloch

The state of the city of Marysville is solid in terms of its budget and quality of life.

“The sun always shines here,” said Mayor Wayne Payne, who delivered his state of the city address on March 28 in front of a handful of council members, department heads, and residents.

The address lasted about an hour and the mayor received a round of applause from those in attendance.

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Finance

The city’s budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022, which ends June 30, is $24,453,000, with a general fund of $11,196,000. The city had an extremely healthy fund balance in the general fund of $9.5 million, which has increased in four of the last five years.

That puts Marysville in the top 10 percent of Michigan cities, Pyden said.

“Although we do have a healthy fund balance, we do have some unfunded liabilities,” said Pyden, as heard on the recording of the address posted on the city’s website. “If everybody came to us on one day and said I want my money, we would be in a deficit.”

The retirement system for general employees is funded at 72.25 percent, up from 59 percent in 2017; its unfunded liability is about $9.7 million. The retirement system for police and firefighter is funded at 64.26 percent, up from 51.21 percent in 2017; its unfunded liability is around $11 million. Retiree healthcare is 61.23 percent funded, roughly its funding level over the past five years, with an unfunded liability of about $10 million.

The city’s millage rate is 16.11 and has not increased since 2005.

The city will receive American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding of $1,012,354

over the next two years. It received Supported Cares Act funding of $434,245.

The city qualified for a low-interest state revolving fund loan of $5.8 million to improve its wastewater treatment system.

Real property in the city has increased in value by 6.9 percent over last year.

Department of Public Works

The DPW, as always, had a busy year.

Employees replaced cement panels on North Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Cardinal streets; repainted center lines and fog lines on Michigan, Cuttle, and Huron; joint sealed cracks on 6th Street, St. Bernard, Lynwood, Collard, New York, 10th, Connecticut, Drawbridge, Georgia and River Road; did spot replacements of more the .75 miles of sidewalks; and replaced the stoplight at Michigan and Huron, the only one owned by the city itself.

The department oversaw the replacement of water mains at St. Lawrence/Greenwood and the 1300 – 1500 blocks of Connecticut; the pouring of an asphalt overlay on Myrtlewood and 6th Street; the milling and filling of the west end of Ravenswood; the road reconstruction on 4th Street, Constitution, Huron and the east half of Cuttle Road as well as the crushing and shaping of Connecticut from Huron to 15th Street.

The DPW repaired eight water main breaks; replaced 18 lead service lines with one-inch copper service lines; mapped the locations of water box shut-offs, mainline valves, sanitary sewer manholes, and storm sewer basins; replaced 11 outdated fire hydrants; rebuilt 23 storm manholes; installed 610 feet of 15-inch cement storm line and 440 feet of the eight-inch plastic storm line.

In Marysville Park, the DPW replaced the roof on the bandshell and repainted it; it oversaw the repaving of the upper parking lot and horseshoe drive parking lot and installed 30 life rings along the riverfront which were donated by Marysville Rotary Club.

At Riverlawn Cemetery, there were 92 interments, up from an annual average of 55; 117 headstones were set; six donated trees were planted and eight trees damaged by wind storms were replaced.

The DPW purchased a Bobcat MT100 Skid Steer and Ford F-250 ¾ ton 4 x 4 pickup truck.

Department of Public Safety

In the fire department and EMS, calls for service increased 17 percent; emergency 911 incidents increased 12 percent; medical emergencies increased 11 percent, and fire incidents increased 14 percent.

In the police department, there were 128 arrests; calls for service increased 16.5 percent; property crimes increased three percent, and traffic citations increased 69.6 percent.

In staff matters, John Stover was promoted to Patrol Lieutenant, Dan Levey to Patrol Sergeant, and Matt Scheffler to Patrol Sergeant.

New additions to the department included Firefighter/Paramedic David Palach; Patrol Officer Scott Silver; Patrol Officer Tyler Scholl; Patrol Officer Travis Baldwin; and Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Rose.

Fire Captain Keith Wayburn and Patrolman James Disser retired.

Community Development

A number of new businesses started up in the city: Breacher Rustics; A Little Hobby Ceramics Studio; Dahlia Beauty Bar; Sentech Services; Tropical Smoothie Café; Wild Wild West Tobacco 45 Inc.; Bel Fiori Mercato; EaZy Bee’s Lawn Scape; Jodi’s Just 4 Kids Child Care; Morning Star Tattoo Studio; Autism Systems; Eden Massage; Thumb Coast Counseling; and Marysville Nutrition.

Building permits were up 15 percent to 537. There were 11 new homes built, up from five last year.

Recreation

Recreation events included the MHSSA Girls’ Softball Quarter Final in Marysville City Park; Concerts in the Park increased from four to eight; Farmer’s Market returned for another year of fresh produce; Outdoor Drive-in Movies returned, as did the Lighted Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Park.

In terms of acquisitions and improvements, Morton Park saw a new outdoor fitness court and the city purchased the former insurance building at 502 Busha Highway, contiguous to the park.

A new bathroom building was added to Marysville Community Center and an existing bathroom remodeled; a big-screen television was purchased; a Little League pavilion was added at Marysville Park; the SC4 softball field got a new scoreboard, and a universally accessible swing was added to the park.

Mermaid Park got a new stairway, shoreline stabilization, pavement resurfacing, new signage, fencing, and a railing.

Marysville Golf Course turned a profit for the first time in its history.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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