Prior to our taking office, the Building Inspection Fund was bankrupt, the General Fund, Fire Fund and Ambulance Funds were hurtling toward having less assets than liabilities (bankrupt) within a few years, and the Water and Sewer Fund was consistently experiencing operating losses. We turned this around:
Union contracts were brought more in line with the private sector including reduced retirement, medical, and paid time off. Contracts are tiered to save money with each retirement. For several years many staff got bonuses vs pay raises. We improved job flexibility. We eliminated post-employment medical which saved $7 million one-time and $1 million per year thereafter.
We brought in millions in grant money.
We operated with less staff than when we started in 2008 for the better part of ten years. We spend your money on direct services, not bureaucracy.
The Building Fund is no longer bankrupt and others are now healthy and have become healthy despite having one of the lowest local tax structures in Macomb County.See chart below.
We repeatedly receive high praise from our auditors and bond rating agencies.
Our success has resulted in one of the LOWEST tax rates in the County with the highest property values. This creates wealth for YOU the stakeholder while assuring solid services.
Bringing YOUR Money Back to Washington Where it Belongs
Though some call it “pork”, grants pull money back from Washington DC to Washington Township for local services rather than having it go out of state. It is not “pork” to bring YOUR money back home. Here are some grants we achieved these 10 years:
$1,500,000 Homeland Security grant to build our new fire station
$940,000 Saw grant to clean and evaluate condition of sewer lines
$540,000 S-2 grant to clean and evaluate condition of sewer lines
$180,000 Grant to purchase oxygen bottles for firemen safety
$140,000 Grant to purchase ambulance ECG units
$85,000 LED lighting grant to put lights in the Township Hall lot
There were many smaller grants as well. We brought in $400 per household, reducing the burden born by YOU the customer.
Recent infrastructure projects such as the water storage facilty and sewer facility required proper financing. In 2016 the Washington board bonded $16 million at a 3.17% interest rate after being assigned a bond rating of AA. The success of the financing and the high rating were a testimony to Washington’s strong financial condition. Standard and Poors praised Washington’s “strong management, with the ability to consistently maintain balanced operations” and “strong budgetary performance” and “very strong budgetary flexibility” and “very strong liquidity”.
At the end of 2018, Standard and Poors REEVALUATED our debt and raised the bond rating to AA+. This is a very high rating for a small local government. This high rating provides us great access to capital at a lower interest rate which makes township infrastructure projects more easily financed (more amenities for our residents). It also gives assurance to our tax payers that the township is in good hands. Think of it as a very high personal credit rating. We are pleased with the results of our financial efforts.
We have made substantial investments in firefighters, training, equipment and facilities, including water main, for the community. One of the benefits, besides improved safety, is the lowering of insurance rates. Our ratings for areas with fire hydrants dropped from a 5 to a 3 on a scale of 1 (great) to 10 (bad). For non-hydranted areas, we dropped from a 9/10 to a 4. This improvement is unheard of and should provide both a real safety improvement and a financial improvement to our community. Shop around and reap the rewards of improved insurance ratings for your home insurance. Go the the Fire Department portion of our webpage, print out the report on ISO, and bring them to your insurer. Make sure you shop around. WWW.Washingtontownship.org.