Numbers don’t lie, Livonia is changing. Over the past decade we have seen a drop in population. In the early 2000’s, Livonia was sitting with over 100,000 people. Today we are leveling out right around 94,000. Another key statistic that cannot be ignored is the migration of millennials.
Millennials are accounting for over 38% of current home sales with intentions of establishing roots and starting families. We need to focus on retention by creating programs and development that keep families in our city long-term. On the flip side, our active adults ages 60-69 equate a 30% increase in the current population and need to be supported equally to the Millennials. Couple these findings with the fact that our city has been nearly 100% built out since the mid-1980’s, we have some creative work to accomplish.
The city presently has pockets of very positive development, but Livonia is a whopping 36 square miles. We need the creation of a standalone dedicated economic development department to tell Livonia’s story. We need a team committed to the economic development of Livonia and tasked with recruiting businesses, developers, and retailers. This team would also be tasked with communicating incentives, analyzing markets, demographics, and customer trends.
Livonia would not be the great city we are today without the world-class services of the Livonia Police and Fire Departments. We need to provide the resources needed to operate all Public Safety services at the highest levels. This can be achieved by ensuring staffing levels and resources are adequately reflected to current and future demands. One example, the current opioid crisis, is something that needs to be a top priority. We need to set the bar in terms of community education to combat this serious addiction.
Our current infrastructure was created in the 50’s and 60’s. Housing was predominantly constructed prior to 1970. We need to create an aggressive capital program to be more pro-active rather than reactive. We need to raise the bar on the level we consider acceptable for our neighborhood roads and develop both a long term and short term capital plan for replacement and rehabilitation. This same process can also be applied to our water and sewer systems.
I believe these efforts combined will work in synergy to make Livonia the place to be years to come!