City budget

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
The 2018-2019 budget calls for a withdrawal from the city fund balance.
The budget would reduce the fund balance, the city’s savings account, from $278,990 to $190,097, a difference of $88,893.
The 2018 fund balance is about 32 percent of this year’s budget. City Council requires two months of savings, about 16.7 percent, said City Manager Jonathan Smith at the May 29 City Council meeting.
The projected 2019 fund balance of $190,097 would be 19.3 percent. Council member Sharron Catallo was concerned with the fund balance withdrawal.
“It’s not a comfortable amount – why take it down to almost minimal,” Catallo asked. “I will never be comfortable with that.”
Mayor Steven Percival said a 16.7 percent fund balance would still be healthy.
Council member Jason Kneisc asked to have the budget to set aside money for general capital improvement, rather than specify projects. Percival agreed, saying generalizing capital improvement funds would allow the city to deal with unexpected projects and lessen the need for a large fund balance.
The total budget of $984,531 includes $10,000 for an updated master plan; $20,000 for repair of the Village Hall building; $75,000, paving Miller Road; $15,000, sidewalk repair and replacement; $18,000, added administrative personnel; $7,000, health insurance for the city’s fulltime DPW worker; and $18,000, engineering and planning work, crosswalk, and tree removal.
The city’s maximum allowable millage rate for property taxes is 12.5702. Minus the 0.691 library millage credit , the new millage rate would be 11.8792. The millage, down from 12.0966 last year, is applied to a taxable property value in the city of $43.1 million, which is up from last year’s $40.8 million.
A city resolution reduces its general fund by 0.691 to prevent double-charging residents for library service.
The 2018-2019 budget includes a general fund of $808,531, with $512,272 in tax revenue, $75,000 in state revenue sharing from sales tax revenue, and $88,893 from the fund balance.
State revenue is down from last year, adding up to a reduction of more than $300,000 since 2003, Smith said.
City Council will consider the budget for approval at its June 11 meeting. Deadline by state law for approval is the end of June.

One Response to "City budget"

  1. Cory Johnston   June 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    I could spend a lot of time and explain all the problems with this proposed budget but the council ignored the 3 pages of issues I sent them prior to the public hearing so I doubt anyone is going to listen now.
    It’s easy to build up the fund balance if you don’t do the work that was budgeted but it still needs to be done, or maybe not if you follow Village government logic. With several members of the council not wanting to dedicate funds to anything, it is hard to say what may happen. For that matter, why even bother with a budget if they are just going to spend it on whatever “unexpected project” may come up and not commit to funding the projects they have told us for years need to be done.
    Fortunately the city has the additional revenue from parking so they can move forward for a few more years, just like they did when they eliminated the police department, the savings from getting a grant to replace the trucks they had no funds to purchase, and not expanding the Village Hall that they had no money to do but are again going out for bids to do so.
    Planning, even for only a year, is just not what the city does, let alone for the 5 to 6 years required by Michigan law.
    To quote words attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

    Reply

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