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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 06/27/12
Village passes $6.15
million budget for 12-13
by CHRIS GRAYVillage trustees are leery about the future despite having a budget written in black ink.
Observer Staff Writer
The Village of Romeo Board of Trustees approved of a $6.15 million budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year with a 6-0 vote. Trustee Margaret Feldhus was not present at the June 18 meeting.
Trustees also gave unanimous approval to keeping the village's millage rate at the same level as last year, though they are concerned about how future tax revenue will be affected by state law.
Outside of the meeting, Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said one of the biggest shifts in the budget is to the water and sewer numbers, as the village is slowly working to have the system support itself.
In past years, the village used the general fund to cover the water and sewer funds. This year's waste water system funding is at $1.1 million, while the water fund is at $588,800.
"The water fund and sewer fund are getting closer to standing on their own," McLaughlin said.
This, she said, will prove useful as the state is undergoing personal property tax reforms with eight pieces of legislation. The state is looking at a six-year plan that would reduce personal property taxes for businesses.
The expected impact on the budget is a loss of roughly $600,000, though legislators are saying more than 80 percent of that amount would be made up from other revenue sources.
"When the personal property tax issue is finalized and comes to be, we'll have a better grasp on what effects there will be on the general fund," she said.
Village President Mike Lee said with nearly 20 percent of the general budget affected by the changes, the village needs to be smart with its finances. The general fund is at $2.9 million for 2012-13.
"We've got to put the people of this village first and move forward positively," he said.
Even with its budget in the black, McLaughlin said the village will struggle with completing larger projects this year. She said she would still like to see repairs done to E. 32 Mile Road as well as local street projects.
The major street fund is at $263,670 this year, while local street is at $247,250. Capital projects for the wastewater treatment plant and water are set at $50,000 and $182,000, respectively.
Lee agreed it'll be tough to do projects with a slim budget, but expressed a hope to clear up some issues throughout the village in the next couple of months.
"We're looking at a couple other options on how to increase some money in investments," he said.
One project that received a boost was the manhole rehabilitation project. McLaughlin said the village will receive $83,685 in unused Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from Macomb County.
"That is money that it would've lost," she said. "It's CDBG funds that must be spent quickly, and our project was eligible for that."
The project aims to restore manholes throughout the village to keep storm water out of the sanitary sewer system by fixing seals and covers.
Around $56,000 was saved up in prior CDBG funds to contribute to the project, but McLaughlin said it's difficult to say whether the project will be completed this year due to a lack of manpower in the Department of Public Works.
On the revenue side, millage rates were set at 13 mills for general operating purposes and .671 for municipal street purposes.
"We're moving forward, we're not eliminating jobs and we're keeping the complete upkeep of the village," Lee said.
No comments were submitted at the public hearing regarding the budget and millage rate.