City Council OKs 2011-12 budget in 3-2 vote

The city of Grand Haven's 2011-12 budget is in the books. The new budget was approved by a 3-2 City Council vote on Monday. It includes increases in water and sewer rates, a 1-percent administrative fee on property taxes, as well as the proposed 0.75-mill levy for 2006 brownfield redevelopment bond payments. Councilmen Mike Fritz and Ed Nieuwenhuis voted against the proposal. Nieuwenhuis said he was in favor of levying a 0.5 mill for the bond payments and Fritz said he would have liked to have seen more cuts.
Alex Doty
May 17, 2011

The city has proposed using the debt support millage — which is estimated to generate $381,000 in revenue, as well as $500,000 set aside from the general fund — to help pay bonds when they become due in 2015.

Based on language approved by the city, the millage will be levied for at least five years — from July 2011 to July 2015.

Also in the 2011-12 budget is the removal of the U.S. Coast Guard artifact boat on U.S. 31. Council on Monday night unanimously approved the moving of the old boat to the Great Lakes Naval Museum in Muskegon.

“It’s in very great disrepair, and there’s a lot of money to get it in shape again,” Fritz said.

According to a report issued by Grand Haven Public Works Director Bill Hunter, the boat is rotting away and cost of restoring it ranged from $35,000 to $120,000.
City Manager Pat McGinnis said since the boat removal is a part of the 2011-12 budget, it wouldn’t be moved until after July 1, and not likely until after this year’s Coast Guard Festival.

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

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