Every February, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce ‘Percolator Club’ sponsors a State of the City-County forum. Mayor Dennis Browning and Saginaw County Commission Chairman Carl Ruth looked at the past year and peered into the future during Thursday morning’s breakfast.
Over the past five years, there’s been over $100 million invested in the city of Saginaw. While Browning says $7 million has been spent on housing in the Bancroft and Eddy Buildings and $20 million for CMU’s Medical College facilities, Delta College’s $12 million downtown satellite campus will bring a thousand people downtown, spurring further development.
But Browning said the city of Saginaw can not depend on current partnerships with the state of Michigan and federal government to continue providing additional manpower and money to assist the city’s police and fire departments. Browning said major improvements to Ojibway Island will add more events in the city park, complimenting the indoor and outdoor venues in the downtown district.
Saginaw County’s Ruth says while the county budget is balanced, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, a $127.5 million unfunded liability for the county’s retiree health care costs. Ruth said commissioners have two strategic planing sessions this month to look for a solution to the problem.
On the bright side, Ruth pointed to reduced crime in the city and county and some $11 million has been spent on blight removal.