2013-06-13 / Front Page

Manager outlines solid budget, flat revenues

Council talks budget, changes to Independence Day celebration

MANISTIQUE – The 2014 budget for the city of Manistique will look similar to the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to city officials. The proposed budget was discussed during Monday’s meeting of the Manistique City Council.

The city’s fiscal year ends on June 30, and the new 2014 budget must be officially adopted in the council’s next meeting on June 24. City Manager Sheila Aldrich detailed each of the city’s departments, highlighting areas of interest for council members.

“A lot of our revenues and our expenses have been about the same,” she explained. “Revenues are pretty flat and expenses remain about the same as they have for several years.”

In the general fund, revenues of $2,133,125 are expected, along with $2,132,356.74 of expenses. This will leave the city with $768.26 to add to the fund balance.

Within the public safety budget, the city is setting aside $38,750 for a new squad vehicle. The new SUV-type vehicle will replace the department’s oldest vehicle, explained Aldrich, and will be paid for using a grant and funds from the Restricted Fund Balance.

“Those are dollars that the Sault Tribe has given us for fire trucks and squad cars,” she said. “We’ve allowed that to build up a little bit, so we’ll be using some of those dollars toward the squad car.”

If the city does not receive the grant for the vehicle, Aldrich said money from the general fund balance will be used to cover the cost.

The Downtown Development Authority is experiencing noticeable stagnation of its tax capture, but will be helped with payments from FutureMark – Manistique past taxes. During the former Manistique Papers, Inc. bankruptcy proceedings, the company was unable to fulfill tax payments to the DDA, and entered into a payment plan. With this plan, the DDA is expecting a $170,000 boost to its tax capture, bringing it to a total of $711,260.

These funds will be used for various projects and maintenance around the city, said Aldrich, as well as to make the new bond payment for the ongoing marina project.

One bright spot in the budget is ambulance billings, Aldrich explained, which had gone up in 2012 to $520,000 from an anticipated $460,000. For 2014’s budget, the city is anticipating $500,000 worth of billings.

“They’ve (billings) gone up the last couple of years,” she said. “In relation to that … the salary and fringes go up also.”

Within the ambulance budget, a principal and interest payment will be made on the new ambulance. The city had borrowed $60,000 and paid $100,000 of its own funds for the 2012 purchase.

The budget is set to be approved at council’s June 24 meeting. No action was taken Monday due to the absence of two council members.

In other business, Aldrich noted there will be changes to the city’s Independence Day Celebration, as construction and dredging in the marina will limit the area’s use. The Manistique Art Fair, on July 6, has been moved to Central Park. For the fireworks display, also on July 6, residents will still have access to the parking lot behind Hardees, the lake area by the boardwalk, and Lakeview Park, but not to the marina. Vendors will set up at the Westside Boat Launch area across the river from the marina.

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