City of Lakewood 2022 Balanced Budget ApprovedDecember 21, 2021
Maintains High Service Standards While Funding Transformative Community Priorities
Lakewood City Council yesterday approved the 2022 comprehensive budget proposed by Mayor Meghan F. George. The balanced, all-inclusive budget of $164 million includes $47.3 million in General Fund dollars and positions the City to maintain high quality city services.
“The 2022 budget focuses on continuing to deliver high quality core services, while including transformative projects that will improve the quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Meghan F. George. “I appreciate the dialogue with City Council that helped produce this document, and all the effort from our directors and our award-winning Finance Department to prepare this budget and judiciously allocate limited resources. Despite the financial challenges associated with COVID, we have weathered that storm well and were able to present a healthy budget. I remain confident that we will work through any financial challenges that may arise, look forward to another year of achievements in 2022.”
The budget was developed upon the core principles of stewardship of public dollars, and a priority on service delivery, explained Finance Director Peter Rancatore. “The Mayor made it clear that her goal on behalf of Lakewood’s citizens was to produce a balanced budget that also reflects the community’s vision, values, and priorities,” he said. “This budget achieves those goals while laying the groundwork for maintaining the City’s excellent bond rating, which is key for both short and long term financial health.” Lakewood was rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service in March, 2021.
Beyond continued operations and services, some new highlights of the budget include:
Public Safety & Human Services
- Community Center at Cove Church/Clean Water Act Project: By spring 2022, this historic building will serve as Lakewood’s new community center and the future headquarters of the Department of Human Services, with a portion of the land dedicated to helping with stormwater maintenance to align with compliance with the Clean Water Act.
- Fire Station 2: Construction will be completed in the spring of 2022 on this historic century-old building that meets today’s modern standards for fire apparatus and makes exhaust improvements to keep our first responders safe from harmful diesel exhaust carcinogens.
Parks & Public Spaces
- Lakewood Pier: Planning work begins as we explore establishing a multi-use pier at Lakewood Park, allowing residents to fully enjoy and experience the wonders of Lakewood’s scenic location on the shores of Lake Erie.
- Foster Pool: Efforts in 2021 to engage the community have led to a plan that will upgrade Foster Pool by addressing long-term maintenance issues, resolve severe water loss from leakage, and incorporate new features that create a useful and friendly environment for intergenerational users.
- Parks & Fields: The baseball fields at Kauffman and Foxx Parks will be repaired in early 2022 to ensure their use in this year’s recreation season, and public works will partner with the schools to determine the next field to upgrade in the new rotating maintenance and improvements schedule to ensure the fields are in high quality playing condition.
Services, Community Priorities, and Sustainability
- EV Charging Stations & Hybrid City Vehicles: The City continues to add EV charging stations at strategic locations to meet the growing demand of our residents and visitors with environmentally friendly non-combustion engines. An additional four hybrid-engine police vehicles will be added to the fleet.
- ADA and HVAC Improvements: City-owned buildings will begin a multi-year effort to complete upgrades to HVAC systems that improve efficiency, save energy and costs, and improve air quality while reducing the presence of airborne pathogens that have characterized this COVID era. Facility needs to better accommodate those with disabilities and meet statutory guidelines are also addressed in the budget.
- Tree Canopy, Water Quality, and Recycling: An urban forester position was included in the budget to enhance City capacity to implement the City’s ambitious tree plan, as well additional funding to operationalize the plan. Funds to continue implementing the city’s Integrated Wet Weather Plan (IWWP) to improve water quality and funds to build the new refuse and recycling center were also included.
To read the complete budget document, please visit:
For more information about the City of Lakewood, please visit lakewoodoh.gov.