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Special Assessment District (SAD) City-Wide Coalition of Detroit

A brief outline of the SAD benefits for neighborhoods in Detroit!

Michigan Public Act 287 of 2011 § MCL 117.5i, as amended authorizes neighborhoods in Detroit to improve their individual areas by sharing the cost for enhanced crime prevention, snow removal and/or mosquito abatement services. The state law says:

“Whether or not authorized by its charter, a city with a population of more than 600,000 may provide by ordinance a procedure to finance by special assessment the provision by private contractors of snow removal from streets, mosquito abatement and security services. The ordinance shall authorize the use of petitions to initiate the establishment of a special assessment district. The record owners of not less than 51% of the land comprising the actual special assessment district must sign the petitions.”

Each neighborhood interested in implementing a SAD will go through its own petition process, as outlined in the ordinance to request that a SAD be created in their specific area. Community organizations & neighborhood groups representing all geographic areas in Detroit are currently working together to support the SAD legislation so that it can be implemented in the near future. The following features have gained broad appeal among the various neighborhood groups because of the flexibility of the proposed ordinance.

  • SADs typically increase property values for homeowners, which in turn, increases tax revenues for municipalities.
  •  Unlike the voluntary dues and service fees collected by many neighborhood associations, participation in the SAD will be mandatory for residents of neighborhoods that elect to create a SAD. A small assessment per household will generate sustainable annual funds. These funds may be used to hire private security patrols, purchase security-related equipment, and/or contract out snow removal services. The results will be better service delivery for less money, in most neighborhoods.
  • Identified services will supplement, not replace city services. Likewise, there will be no loss of revenue to the city of Detroit.
  • Variations of the SAD funding model are used in other cities in Michigan and across the country. Allowing SADs in Detroit will provide Detroit neighborhoods with a pro-active strategy that is based on other highly successful programs.
  • Each neighborhood will identify which services are needed. The neighborhood residents will customize their programs to meet their needs.
  • The SAD ordinance provides a consistent, sustainable source of funding for key quality of life services.

The City-Wide Coalition is currently waiting for the City Council’s Budget, Finance & Audit Committee to finish reviewing the draft SAD ordinance. The Committee’s target completion date is April 1, 2014. Once out of committee the ordinance will be voted by council to establish the dates for public hearings. We are mobilizing citizens who support the ordinance to participate in the Public Hearing process, which is expected to happen in Mid-April 2014.

 

SAD City-Wide Coalition General Information & Status Update

Final approval by Council should happen by the end of April 2014. The Emergency Financial Manager would then approve the ordinance in May.

For more information about supporting the SAD ordinance for Detroit’s neighborhoods contact: Karen Johnson Moore, Community Security Program Manager for Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation at: kmoore@grandmontrosedale.com or 313-387- 4732 ext.110.

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