November 23, 2014

Standish City Council to vote on balanced budget May 4

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The proposed budget for the city of Standish will be in the black by $700 for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

A special meeting will be held Wednesday, May 4, when the city council will vote on the proposed budget. If approved the budget will take effect July 1, where the city will be operating on a balanced budget with its general fund according to City Manager Michael Moran.

“We have had a lot of divisions and cuts, but we are looking good in a couple of areas,” he said.

During the 2010 fiscal year not employees were cut by the city. The city clerk said the administrative staff has had its hours cut to 32 a week.

Moran said he believes the city will be operating on a tight budget for around the next five years. He said the city was facing an $83,000 deficit in the budget, but a number of cuts have helped keep the city in the black.

On Friday, April 15, the city council held a special budget workshop meeting. At the meeting, Moran presented the city council with a couple of proposals.

Moran said the city plans on reducing its deficit reduction plan payments to the Michigan Department of Treasury from $60,000 to $10,000 per year.

He said the payments are for the Cedar Street Project. According to the city clerk, the city owes the state of Michigan $300,000 over the next five years. That amount will have to be paid over an extended period of time due to the reduction in payments.

The Cedar Street Project was a Michigan Department of Transportation project in 2006, where half a mile of Cedar Street between Airpark Drive and US-23 was repaved and improvements were made to drainage systems, sewers, sidewalks and traffic systems.

“This was a large amount of the $83,000 deficit we were facing,” he said.

The city has also changed its phone plan, cutting the cost in half. Moran the city was paying nearly $20,000 a year for its phone plan.

“We have cut that cost to around $10,000,” he said.

Moran said only two departments will have cell phones. Those are the City Police and the Department of Public Works.

Moran said the city used to have 10 cell phones in operation before the cut.

“We were facing some dark days,” Moran said prior to the meeting. “We had to make cuts and save.”

The city has also decided to sell police equipment. More information was not available as of press time.

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