NORA asking for COLA increase from member municipalities

Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority officials are asking its participating municipalities for a slight increase in their contributions in order to help decrease its financial shortage. NORA Recreation Coordinator Jill Vander Stel said the organization typically includes a cost-of-living allowance increase - generally about 2 percent - each budget year for its four member municipalities. However, when NORA officials prepared its 2010-11 budget last year, the cost-of-living index was at zero.
Kyle Moroney
Apr 13, 2011

Therefore, the recreation authority requested the same amount from its member municipalities as the previous year — a total of $94,574.

When NORA officials conducted a second revision of its budget in late March, they discovered a nearly $25,000 shortage. Now, in order to help decrease its deficit for the current fiscal year — which runs through June 30 — officials are going back to its member municipalities — the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg, and

Grand Haven and Robinson townships — and asking for a 2-percent COLA increase.

“We thought we’d be able to make it with the zero increase,” Vander Stel said. “But ... our projections weren’t what we had thought.”

About 70 percent of NORA’s funds are supported by revenue generated by program fees and sponsorships. The remaining 30 percent is government supported, using a funding formula based on residential usage and taxable value that allows for a COLA increase.

“While the cost-of-living didn’t increase (this year), the need was still there,” Vander Stel said.

To read more of this story, see today's print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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