Taylor was an active, vibrant community in 2016 … and the best way to remember the year was to review its news, by the numbers. So start the countdown, and let’s roll through all the figures, and what they meant to the community.
$2.73BDespite a “very weak economy” after several years of valuation declines, Taylor’s tax base stabilized in 2014 and witnessed slight increases in 2015 and 2016 as values grew in each of the past two years, to $2.73 billion, according to Standard & Poor's Global Ratings released in November 2016. The S&P gave the City an “A” rating and a stable outlook based on three consecutive years of positive budgetary performance. The score also reflects a return to stability in key leadership positions and positive available fund balances. Stated S&P: “Budgetary performance improved dramatically in fiscal 2013, reversing a trend of structural imbalance, and has since remained consistently strong. Factors in the financial turnaround include a more stabilized management team, significant staff reductions, revisions to health care benefits and tempering declines in taxable value, which drive property taxes."
428 / 1,250The total number of lights on Telegraph Road and elsewhere in the community that are being converted by DTE Energy to the new, improved LED version, which will show an annual savings of approximately $250,000 to the community. The new LED bulbs use less energy and perform much better.
$30,000The approximate cost of the new indoor baseball-softball facility that will replace the old gym in the Taylor Recreation Center. The facility will include batting-pitching cages, synthetic turf. With approximately 2,000 families involved in Little League in Taylor, the facility should get a workout.
$25,000The cost of the City’s new outdoor movie screen and sound system, purchased by an anonymous donor. The “Movie in the Park” program opened this fall to large crowds and rave reviews and will be scheduled throughout the community from May to October 2017.
$40,000The cost of a new playscape at Howard Noble Park (right), located on Champaign Street between Huron and Mayfair, near Blair Moody Elementary School.
Two-thirdsThe percentage of power outages in the City attributed to tree overgrowth by DTE Energy, which restarted an intense tree-trimming program in the community in 2016.
33The number of “Coffee With Mayor Rick Sollars' podcasts the City is scheduled to air in 2016. Hosted by Dr. Paul Reeves, the shows are wide-ranging, and are available on the iCare Taylor app and the City of Taylor’s website.
$229,845The cost of the new Coan Lake seawall (left) in Heritage Park, replaced in 2016. The old seawall had been deteriorating for years, and portions had even been removed by the City. The new seawall was funded through a FEMA grant and the City’s buildings and grounds fund.
$45,000The cost to clear and create a connecting pathway between Heritage Park and Wayne County Community College’s Downriver Campus, which will enhance walking, jogging and cycling opportunities in the area. The funds were part of a $95,000 state grant that also includes …
$7,000The estimated cost for a new drive shaft for the waterwheel at Coan Lake, which opens the door for the wheel to have decorative lighting added (through another grant, this one by WCCCD). When finished, the waterwheel will take on the look of a small Ferris wheel.
$8,000The cost to transition 57 Heritage Park light poles to LED lighting, expected to be completed in April 2017.
$15,000 / $12,000The cost of asphalt repairs to parking lots and pathways, along with the cost of pump repairs, in Heritage Park. The asphalt repairs are expected to be finished before the year ends; the pump repairs will be finished by May 2017.
1The one and only Taylor Fire Department Fire Safety House (left) was renovated and reopened in September. The house had fallen into a state of disrepair after budget problems, along with changing ideas and uses for the building. Located next to the Fire Station No. 3, on Ecorse Road, it was originally built in 1991 through a combined effort of the Fire Department, Masco and the Rotary Club. When the fire safety program was active, there was a markedly decline in fire-related crime among youths in the community. The department is reaching out to all schools in the City to schedule tours and demonstrations. During those tours -- aimed at fourth-grade-aged children -- they will learn fire precautions and how to react in an emergency. The department hopes that the children will help prod entire families toward better fire-related topics, like the importance of smoke detectors.
$275M / 1,800The number of investment dollars and jobs recently created in the Eureka Road business, retail and entertainment district according to a 2016 report by the City of Taylor. The information was part of a presentation that Mayor Rick Sollars shared with Wayne County officials as the City attempted to gain further county cooperation in the “Eureka Way!” shopping district. The largest contributors to the investment and job growth opportunities are the renovated Southland Center and scheduled building of the Menards' site on the old Gibraltar Trade Center property. “Until you really analyze the details, you don’t realize the positive impact Eureka Way development is having on our community,” Mayor Sollars said. “Eureka Road, between Telegraph and Allen, is one of the hottest development areas in Michigan. Every new location adds to our tax base, offers our residents new choices and expands job opportunities.”
1,980The average number of monthly Internet Lab users at the Taylor Community Library for the first eight months this year. One hundred and 75 e-magazines (including Consumer Reports) are available through the library, while 22,591 e-books are available through the organization’s “Overdrive” program (shared collection free with Taylor Library Card).
2 & 2The number of new fire trucks and Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs purchased for the Taylor Fire Department this year. The SUVs include vivid reflective safety markings on all sides; multi-level emergency lighting that works on a single touch; and an extended bed feature that can serve as command post and equipment storage so that the firefighters are ready for anything that they face. The SUVs were a request of Chief Stephen Portis, who feels that the department will be much more mobile with these vehicles, which will cut down on the larger fire trucks having to be dispatched on a constant basis. The traditional fire trucks are not necessary on many of the department's runs, and the wear and tear of constantly being dispatched ages them. So one set of new vehicles should directly benefit the others.
3The number of hours of free streaming music daily using a Taylor Library Card!
$9MThe cost of the long-awaited Cinemark Southland Center and XD 12-theater complex. Cinemark now stands where the old Mervyn’s was located, before it was razed for the new development.
$105,000The investment by Taylor Golf in the interior of the Lakes of Taylor Golf Course clubhouse facility. Included in the renovations were flooring improvements throughout the building, new fixtures in the pro shop, and painting and sprucing up in the snack bar.
60The number of new mini-Mite and Mites involved in the Belle Tire Youth Hockey Program. The new additions bode for a great future of Belle Tire hockey, which is the main driver of revenue at the Taylor Sportsplex. Other 2016 highpoints at the TSX include the purchasing of third Zamboni (emergency back-up); the addition of Lacrosse; new paint in the lobby; the addition of the Divine Child High School Hockey Program; shower upgrades to the locker rooms; “Learn to Play Hockey” for girls instituted; three new graduation ceremonies scheduled; State Wars (National Inline Championship) added to the schedule; HVAC upgrades; new automatic entrance doors; a summer Robotics Competition scheduled; and sound system upgrades.
$8.8MKroger’s investment in its Taylor location, which held a grand re-opening in June. It now includes one of the company’s largest floral departments and an on-site fuel center. During the grand re-opening ceremonies, Kroger donated $2,500 each to Kennedy and Truman high schools. New Supt. Ben Williams, outgoing Supt. Diane Allen and principals Melissa Skopczynski and Tommie Saylor were on hand. The store introduced “ClickList” during July, which is an online grocery ordering service. The first 400 shoppers were presented with $10 Kroger gift cards during the re-opening.
$10,000The amount donated to the Taylor Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence by the new DFCU Financial location on the corner of Wick and Pardee, which held a grand opening in early May. DFCU purchased and totally remodeled the old Sigur's Florist Shop. The Taylor Public School Foundation for Educational Excellence is a non-profit independent organization of volunteers committed to enriching the educational environment of the Taylor School District. The Taylor DFCU location is the credit union’s second in the Downriver area, having opened a Riverview branch roughly 10 years ago.
60The number years in business celebrated by Pia’s Ristorante Italiano earlier this year. In March Mayor Rick Sollars and his family visited and helped one of the restaurant’s founders, Josephine Pecci, celebrate the milestone. Mrs. Pecci was born and raised in Supino, a province of Frosinone, Italy, before she came to America in 1954 with her father and four siblings to begin a new life. The following year, Pia’s started as a pizzeria pickup-only location – and was the first pizzeria in Taylor Township. Josephine and her late husband, Luigi, built the location into what it is today, using her original recipes to lure a never-ending line of satisfied customers. Daughter Dina now runs Pia’s – although Josephine still takes an active role.
14/$500,000/$6,000The number of beds donated to the Fire Department; costs in building renovations to its own Telegraph location; and donations to charity, made by Gardner-White Furniture. The southeast Michigan-owned and operated furniture retailer celebrated the grand re-launch of its Taylor store in April. As part of the ongoing festivities, Taylor Firefighters received 14 new beds, and a $3,000 donation went to a pair of important local charities (Enchanted Makeovers, a Taylor-based nonprofit that works with women, children and female veterans battling homelessness; and Humble Design, a Pontiac-based nonprofit that helps furnish homes for the formerly homeless in Taylor and the Detroit-areas).
$100,000A grant awarded to the City by the Blight Elimination Program of the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority, targeting the old and abandoned Fletcher Elementary School along Pardee Road (which was torn down in the fall). In October 2015, the Michigan Land Bank received a $1 million grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to continue efforts to demolish vacant and abandoned structures and promote public safety. County land banks and local units of government with eligible projects across the state were invited to apply for funding. Grant awards for individual projects were capped at $250,000. Statewide, 41 applications were submitted requesting more than $3.4M to fight blight. The City is planning to create parkland on the site.
$350,000 / 300The investment and number of jobs being created by Measurement Incorporated in Taylor. Measurement Inc. is renovating the old Dunham’s store in the Taylor Commons Shopping Center along Ecorse Road. The Measurement Incorporated location is scheduled to open in mid-February 2017. It is an employee-owned corporation that provides educational and professional examinations, program evaluation and related services to state and local governments, other testing companies and various professional organizations. Its list of customers includes over 25 state and local departments of education and more than 15 corporate clients and partners.
8/201/$60,000The number of tractor-trailers, pallets of bottled water and donations raised during January’s “Operation Flint,” the bottled-water donation campaign spurred by the combined efforts of the City of Taylor, Home Depot West and Load One. The original goal was to collect one semi-tractor-trailer full of bottled water and ship it to the beleaguered residents of Flint, who were suffering from a water crisis. The campaign would not have been so wildly successful if it wasn’t for its key contributors. Taylor Department of Public Works employee Lonnie Thompson thought up the idea, and relayed it to City Councilman Charley Johnson. Simultaneously, Mayor Rick Sollars, looking for new home furniture with his wife, Alicia, happened upon a similar bottle drive at Art Van Furniture. Johnson called Sollars and they started hashing out the details. Home Depot West agreed to be the host site, and Load One CEO John Elliot agreed to donate the drivers and the trucks ... and the rest is history.
41Years in operation by The Information Center. It celebrated the milestone and a brand new location with festive open house in June. The Information Center, Inc., The Family Resource Place is a private, non-profit organization that provides information and referral and senior services to residents of southeast Michigan, with the objective to connect people with the human service resources that fit their individual needs. Through a variety of programs, The Information Center has been dedicated to the goal of connecting people with resources since 1975. Among the services that TIC offers are information and referral, employment and training, Medicaid waiver, nursing facility transition, adult day care, early childhood home visiting connections, employee assistance programs, options counseling, trusted care solutions and disability screening.
$8.99Cost of a Chicken Apple Club meal, with Acai Berry Boost smoothie, at the new Tropical Smoothie Café on Telegraph Road. It opened this year next to Gardner White Furniture and offers a drive thru and online ordering services. Just in case you’re hungry, the Chicken Apple Club is grilled chicken, bacon, smoked cheeses, and Dijon honey mustard plus a crunchy apple and kale slaw on toasted flatbread. The anti-oxidant Acai Berry Boost smoothie is made of Zola Acai, strawberries, blueberries, bananas and pomegranate. It sounds too good to be so healthy.
55That’s cents – during 55-cent wings days at the new Primanti Bros. Restaurant, which opened this year in Southland Center. The Pittsburgh-based blue-collar eatery is known for its huge sandwiches, made with homemade bread, tons of slaw, homemade French Fries and your choice of meats hot off the grill. But the location is getting high marks for its 55-cent wings on Sundays (bone in) and Mondays (boneless). A staple of steel town since 1933, the Taylor Primanti’s was the first to open in Michigan. We’d include the price of beer in this order, but his is a family magazine!
2The number of new parking spots devoted to seniors/expectant mothers and veterans in City-owned lots around the community. The program started at City Hall, where Department of Public Services employees installed two new spaces outside the north entrance along Goddard Road. Mayor Rick Sollars said: "We've seen these types of dedicated parking spaces in other neighboring communities, and we thought it was a good idea to bring them to Taylor. If it benefits our residents, it's a good idea."
$8.4MThe investment by La-Z-Boy Furniture, which will anchor a new development on the old Taylor Tool location along Eureka Road, directly across from the scheduled new Menards’ location. La-Z-Boy previously occupied what is now Hantz Financial before that franchise store went out of business. The new location will be operated by the Monroe-based manufacturer (founded in 1927) of home furniture, including upholstered recliners, sofas, stationary chairs, lift chairs and sleeper sofas. The company employs more than 11,000 people. The entire retail 3.4-acre site will include construction of a 23,200-square-foot commercial building, anchored by a La-Z-Boy store (15,600-square-feet). The remaining space will be occupied by retail and restaurant tenants. The former site used an extensive underground system of tunnels, tanks and vaults that included many contaminants including an oil-filled sump in one room. The environmental contamination associated with those operations poses development constraints that were Brownfield eligible, along with requirements of a storm water retention system. The Brownfield application was approved Taylor and the proposed project takes into account all of the environmental problems at a cost of $633,943. The project will successfully redevelop a contaminated site, and bring increased jobs and tax base (post-development taxable value is estimated at $1.5M). The plan also matches the City of Taylor’s vision for the corridor, with enhanced streetscaping, safer walk ability and traffic flow.
$5.2M/50The expansion and jobs created by one of the most unique businesses in Taylor, The Oakwood Group. The company was awarded a $500,000 grant by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in September, after earlier receiving a 12-year Industrial Facilities Tax Exception from City Council in early August, which will create a $5.2M manufacturing expansion that will add 50 new jobs. The MEDC grant will help Oakwood build 99.000-square-feet of manufacturing space in its facility. The company makes impact absorbers, speaker grilles and automotive badges, employing 288 in Michigan (Dearborn and Taylor).
31,000The approximate number of surgeries performed by The PAWS Clinic, which celebrated five years in existence and $180,000 worth of expansion during a ceremony in September. The clinic is a 501c3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease animal homelessness and needless euthanasia by making high quality, affordable spay/neuter services available to our community.
54,000That’s the amount of square-footage that Life Bridge Church is revitalizing after acquiring the old Taylor Lanes. It’s not often that an old bowling alley turns into a church, and the facility more than doubles the space currently available to the church at its old Superior Blvd. Location. In addition to much more space, Life Bridge Church intends to use its new venue to support a much larger vision – to create a community center that will offer a similar environment with several entertainment options. The plans include keeping six bowling lanes.
950/$263,000The number of dental patients, and the total funds expended, during the eight years of Shwedel Dental’s annual “Dentistry From the Heart.” Held in September, Dr. Steven Shwedel and his team of more than 50 volunteers offer free dental care for a day. In 2016, they worked on 105 people in need. Even the thunderstorms didn’t keep patients from arriving as early as 3 a.m. Each received fillings, extractions or a dental cleaning. In total over $32,000 in dental services were performed this year. Dr. Shwedel and his volunteers have already marked their calendars for the ninth annual Dentistry From the Heart event to be held on September 9, 2017.
930The number of animals adopted out or returned to their owner by the Taylor Animal Shelter from January through the third week in November. The shelter, a no-kill-for-adoptable facility, continued to hold periodic special adoption days on Saturdays and continued to be upgraded and renovated, with the parking lot resurfaced this fall.
14The number of residential buildings demolished by the City of Taylor in 2016. Ten of those buildings were categorized as “dangerous buildings” and the total cost was approximately $80,000.
$5.46MTotal investment made in the community by 20 new residential permits that were issued in 2016 by the Building Department.
19/2,700The number of programs held in 2016 and the total participants in the Taylor on Watch program, overall. Taylor on Watch is an ongoing educational and crime-fighting program instituted by the Taylor Police. The programs held this year included topics from parenting to home security, crimes against the elderly and identification fraud. Topics in 2017 will include women’s self defense, first aid, neighbor relations and gun laws and safety, along with open houses at the police and fire departments. To get involved, call (734) 374-1444.
70,000The approximate numbers of calls that the Taylor Customer Service Center in City Hall recorded through mid-November. Depending on the day of the week, weather conditions and time of year, the CSC handles between 260 to 416 calls in a day. The average wait time is 2:54 minutes.
$3,224,784 / 14 / 8.5The number of dollars spent, streets targeted and miles of roadway renovated though Thanksgiving by the City of Taylor as part of its concrete panel replacement program. The program enables the City to stretch its limited budget in a more cost-effective manner. Those statistics includes 38,970 square yards of concrete removed and replaced, 192 utility structures repaired and 88 ADA ramps constructed in the following locations:
- Hayes (Mills to Telegraph)
- Champaign (Beech Daly to Telegraph)
- Mills (Champaign to Hayes)
- Westlake (Champaign to Myler)
- Sloan (Ecorse to Champaign)
- Wolhfeil (Telegraph to Robert)
- Hayes (Monroe to Pelham)
- Madden (Beech Daly to Westlake)
- Holland (Goddard to Wick and Wick to Trolley)
- Bailey (Chestnut to Eureka)
- Westlake (Superior to Eureka)
- Racho (Eureka to Pennsylvania)
- Hayes (Pine to Monroe)
- Champaign (Pardee to Pelham)
$648,560 / 7 / 2.6The number of dollars spent, streets targeted and miles of roadway renovated through Thanksgiving by the City of Taylor in its hot mix asphalt program. The HMA program addressed the following locations:
- Mortenview (Superior to Eureka)
- Mortenview (Northline to Superior)
- Lorne (Huron to Pelham)
- Empire (Allen to Northline)
- Haskell (Mortenview to Merrick)
- Haig (Telegraph to Beaumont Hospital-Taylor Campus)
- Newcastle (West Pointe to Oak)
276,825The number of linear feet of cleaning and inspection scheduled in the DPW’s sewer cleaning and inspection program kicked off this year. This project is the result of a $2 million Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater Program grant, originally filed in November 2013. Through Thanksgiving, the project has cleaned and inspected 71,182 linear feet, or about 26 percent of the total project, for an estimated cost of $760,400. The SAW grant program is scheduled to end in June 2017.
18,920The number of linear feet of new water mains installed in the City’s water main replacement project in the Northwest section of the community this year. The project cost $3.238 million, and included replacing 64 fire hydrants and installing 21 others.
26,000The approximate number of ballots cast in the City of Taylor during the November 8 Presidential Election. The election drew nearly 57 percent of the registered voters in the community. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won in Taylor, approximately 50 percent to 45 percent, over the eventual president elect, Republican Donald Trump.
$240,000The amount of funding that the 23rd District Court received from the Michigan Supreme Court to fund the operation of its drug/sobriety program. Instead of costly incarceration, problem-solving courts, like this one, closely supervise offenders who are required to enroll in treatment programs and be drug tested regularly. Extensive follow-up analysis shows that participants in these courts are far less likely to resort to the same problematic activity. Graduates of Michigan sobriety courts are more than three times less likely to commit another offense after two years. The Court has graduated 144 individuals since the program began in 2004.
4The number of consecutive Junior League World Series baseball titles won by a team from Chinese Taipei after the Shing-Ming Junior Little League team from Taoyuan defeated the Kawaihau Little League all-stars from Kapaa, Hawaii, 9-1, in August to earn the world championship for the 13- and 14-year-old division of Little League baseball.
The Chinese Taipei team rolled through the Asia-Pacific region, finished 5-0 in Taylor, outscored JLWS opponents 43-4 and extended a World Series winning streak to 25 games, stretching back to 2012. The 2016 appearance was the seventh straight by teams from Chinese Taipei. During that time, the Asia-Pacific champions have won five world championships.