In the June 22, 2020 Clarkston City Council meeting public comments, I communicated my concern that based on the current year’s budget there would likely be no parking fund balance and the fund balance would be near the minimum, essentially preventing capital expenses for the budget in 2021-22. These two sources provided $244,000 for the current budget. Since then, the city’s financial situation has gotten worse based on the interceptor sewer costs (the proposed Special Assessment District will replenish the city’s sewer fund sometime in 2023, if approved. and more interceptor repairs are expected), the pending East Washington Alley storm water sewer repair, driveway expenses, new sign expenses and the FOIA decision against the city. Legal expenses for HDC SHIPO appeals continue.
My current concern is the city has not kept up with Hubbell Roth & Clark recommendations for street maintenance per their study for the city. As an example, the city was only able to repair half of Miller Road based on the more than double the estimated costs for repairing the western portion. The 38 cracked sections of sidewalk remain in pieces. The west portion of Miller Road acts as a dam between the Upper Mill Pond and Lower Mill Pond. Clarkston Road repair is planned by the Road Commission of Oakland County for 2022 at the earliest. Church Street repaving and sidewalk repairs are mentioned in the 2020-21 budget presentation, but no cost or timing has been established. Hot rubber crack fill is not being used consistently to extend the life of our streets.
I recommend the responsibility for developing the street and sidewalk maintenance and funding plans be given to the Planning Commission. The leadership and members of the Planning Commission have created the current Master Plan and the multi-year Capital Improvement Plan. They will be able to understand the HRC street analysis study and recommend street and sidewalk priorities. They will be able to recommend solutions for revenue shortfalls.