Commissioners may withdraw from depot authority


ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Commissioners voted to send a letter to withdraw from the Arenac Heritage Route Authority during the Jan. 19 county meeting.

However, chairman Ray Daniels said that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the county will actually withdraw.

Daniels said the county pays $8,600 annually to belong to the authority, and that the bylaws require that participants give a one-year notice if they are going to withdraw.

“We don’t want to withdraw,” Daniels said. “But because they want us to give notice a year in advance, we had to send the letter now.”

Daniels said that if everything works out over the next year, and the county is not in a big budget crisis, it would remain part of the authority.

Daniels said the county has been looking at ways to cut costs in the current economy. He said so far, no employees have been laid off, and he said cuts would be made in other areas before that would happen. That is what influenced the decision to send the letter to the depot authority.

“Everyone (commissioners) agreed we didn’t want to do it,” Daniels said. “But what are you going to do? If you’re a county employee, $8,600 will pay some wages for a while.”

Daniels said the county has also considered withdrawing from the Michigan Association of Counties, which costs the county $7,000 a year. However, he said, the MAC is currently providing the county’s workman’s comp, and the county decided not to withdraw. Daniels said there is only one other county in Michigan that doesn’t belong to the MAC.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to send the letter to the depot authority, with Joseph Sancimino casting the dissenting vote.

“The downside is that they promote things in Arenac County,” Daniels said of the authority. “Businesses get promoted. We’d like to be a part of that.”

Daniels said that the county should have a pretty good idea of tax revenue by sometime in May, at which time it would be ready to make adjustments to the budget if necessary.


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