Budget balancing challenge

The scale is tilting toward the spending side for Spring Lake Township's 2013-14 fiscal year, leading to an unbalanced budget.
Marie Havenga
Mar 16, 2013

 

The proposed new budget calls for a total of $2.36 million in revenues and $2.43 million in spending, ending with a $71,500 general fund deficit.

Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said the shortage is due to remodeling the township's fire barn on 174th Avenue. Upgrading it for training and fire use will cost $75,000 each of the next four years, according to the manager.

Gallagher said the difference will be covered by the township's reserve fund, which totals $1.4 million.

“We don't anticipate there will be an ongoing deficit,” he said. “Last year we had a balanced budget, but the two previous years we had a projected deficit. We did not end the year in a deficit in each of those years. We certainly want to hold the line on spending.”

While spending is projected to go up by nearly 6 percent, township revenues are also forecast to go up — by nearly 3 percent from last year — due to a bump in population and an increase in taxable property values.

The good news for taxpayers is the township's operating millage rate of 0.96 mill will remain unchanged.

No residents commented at Monday's budget public hearing.

The Township Board is expected to adopt the budget after its March 25 annual meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. at Spring Lake Township Hall, 106 S. Buchanan St.

The budget includes a 2 percent raise for staff members and a 6 percent pay hike for Gallagher. The manager's salary will go up from $81,046 to $86,046 a year.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

newspaperlawyer

So lets get this right... a total of $300,000.00 will be spent to do what to these fire barn on 174th ave. What happen to fire barn which the department just had to have years ago. I believe this was listed as the SL Twp fire Training center on 174th ave. I also thought this housed the Ottawa County Sheriff Department like the other fire house on 148th Ave. So the Twp Manager now whats to build a new station at M-104 ans Fruitport Rd. It sounds to me that Twp was in great finance shape and now we are get into trouble with the purchasing of several new properties and the selling of others. I guess its time to lay out the 5 year plan which you are trying to do with the fire department. If you are planning for the future or what. What ever it is it sounds like the money is not present in any of the budgets for these purchases. Maybe we have some conflicts of interests with the SL TWP Treasurer also being the SL TWP Deputy Fire Chief. Where is the accountability of these tax dollars.

christopher

Apparently now is NOT the time to be spending on ANOTHER fire station (at M-104 and Fruitport Road). For the last few years I have had very high regards for the management of our township (after some pretty questionable management in the late 80s and 90s), but now they seem to be up to the same old recklessness.

 

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