New Wixom City Manager Tony Nowicki took over last week and is already tackling unfinished projects, as well as brainstorming a fiscal plan to ensure a millage approved by the city voters in the Nov. 6 general election will be levied in a prudent manner.
“The fiscal condition of the city is paramount,” said Nowicki, who took over following the retirement of former city manager Mike Dornan. “City Council has established that as a priority long ago, so we will be reviewing our operations, revenues and expenditures, and finding a way, once the millage approved by residents expires, to have a sustainable budget with customary services still in place. The voters gave us four years, and we need to address this issue.”
A second parallel initiative will be the reevaluation of the management team roles, interdepartmental collaboration, and structure.
“We need to increase communication between departments and make sure there is accountability,” Nowicki said. “As far as projects go, we are basically picking up where we left off before the transition.”
Dornan retired effective Sunday, Nov. 18. The Wixom City Council offered Nowicki, the city’s former assistant city manager, a four-year contract effective Monday, Nov. 19.
One focal point will be the Ford Wixom assembly plant redevelopment project.
Prior to inking a deal, the new potential buyers requested an amendment of the zoning ordinance that revises the master land use plan that overlays the shuttered Ford Plant. This plan, called the Gateway Planned Unit Development, classifies the site as mixed-use to allow for research and development, manufacturing, and some commercial. Gateway Planned Unit Development design guidelines, which lay out what aesthetics must be adhered to and materials must be used during construction, are in the process of being reviewed by the city Planning Commission.
Other projects dangling include Michigan’s first senior housing complex for the deaf and hearing impaired that plans to make its home in Wixom. The developer intends to purchase 8.8 acres in the Village Center Area behind the post office for the purpose of economic development.
Additionally, Robertson Brothers plans to begin constructing 119 single-family homes just north of the abandoned Coe Railroad tracks this spring.