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.