Dear Residents of Lakewood and Members of Lakewood City Council
It is again my privilege to present you with the City of Lakewood’s 2023 proposed balanced budget, reflecting our community vision, values, and priorities while also remaining fiscally responsible in our operations and objectives. We enter 2023 maintaining a strong financial position and enjoying an excellent Aa2 Moody’s bond rating. I remain confident that we will work through the financial challenges that the 2023 economy will likely present while continuing to provide residents with first-class services and transformative projects and initiatives in 2023:
Public Infrastructure and Environmental Interventions
- Interceptor Tunnel Project: The City will begin a massive project on its main, 100-year-old 3.6-mile artery of sanitary sewer pipe that flows across northern Lakewood before going south to the City’s wastewater treatment plant. We are cleaning, repairing, and “sliplining” the pipe, while also adding access maintenance shafts. This project is part of the City’s multi-year plan for stormwater management compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. The City is dedicating $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to keep costs as reasonable as possible for our utility rate payers.
Parks & Public Spaces
- Foster Pool: Construction continues at Foster Pool to realize the community vision developed from extensive community input in the redesign of this beloved Lakewood asset. It’s a project that will resolve long-term maintenance issues including severe water loss from leakage, while also incorporating new features that create a more useful and friendly environment for people of all ages and abilities.
- Parks & Fields: At Lakewood Park, the City will upgrade and expand the heavily used skate park and make major upgrades and address maintenance at Lakefront Field as the ballfield management program continues. Various capital projects will also take place at Kauffman, Merl, and Niagara Parks.
Public Safety and Energy Efficiency
- Alternative Energy Vehicles: The City continues to replace older, less efficient combustion engine models with hybrid police vehicles that enjoy significant fuel savings and come with a generous warranty that dramatically reduces maintenance costs. Additionally, the City is strategically targeting certain vehicle replacement candidates for its all-electric vehicles as our fleet of alternative energy vehicles continues to diversify.
- Fire and Police Equipment: The Ohio Emergency Management Agency has awarded Lakewood nearly $250,000 for necessary upgrades to our police and fire radio equipment. We will use over $1 million in ARPA funds to backfill the remaining costs of this important project that helps keep our community safe and our local taxes as low as possible. In addition, vital dollars are being dedicated to increasing our citywide safety camera program to both deter and help solve crimes occurring in Lakewood.
I close with special thanks to the City’s award-winning finance team and senior departmental staff who worked collaboratively in creating a budget that makes a difference in the lives of all Lakewood residents. I look forward to continuing to provide superior public service to our residents as we modernize and transform our vibrant and dynamic community.
Meghan F. George
Mayor & Safety Director