Standish rolls out deficit reduction plan

By John Fischer|Staff writer
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STANDISH — Neither City Manager Mike Moran or City Treasurer Peggy Burtch were part of the City of Standish Administration during the “Street Capital Project,” but now a deficit of $632,295 resulting from the project exists in the fund balance, by state law requiring the city to submit a Deficit Elimination Plan to the State of Michigan, is the focus of much of their time and energy.

According to Public Act 140 of 1971, “a local unit of government ending its fiscal year in a deficit condition shall formulate and file a deficit elimination plan with the Department of Treasury within 90 days after the beginning of the next fiscal year to correct the condition. A deficit condition is defined as a fund where the total expenditure for that fund, including an accrued deficit, exceeds total revenues in that fund for the fiscal year.” In this case, the fund with expenses exceeding total revenues is the Standish City fund balance.

Moran says the “Street Capital Project,” a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) project to improve conditions on Cedar Street down to East City Limit Road, add an extension to Elm Street and also provide new lights, sidewalks, lamps, chairs, and waste cans, completed in August 2008, was bonded for $1.6 million during initial planning stages, but after several changes and an unpaid, previously unknown Consumer’s Energy bill, the project cost Standish $2.2 million, establishing the deficit.

“We’re still working on the details,” Moran said, adding the city has already sent in the structure of the plan, which was due on Feb. 24. He says it outlines the amount of monies allocated to the fund balance from the general fund over the next five years.

The plan, he says, will basically allocate general fund monies into the fund balance as a top priority annually and then the rest of the budget will be drawn up around the allocation.

For more information, contact the City of Standish at 989-846-9588.

The City of Standish holds regular meetings the third Monday of each month and citizens can also visit the city Web site at www.cityofstandish.com.

For information regarding deficit elimination plans, visit www.michigan.gov and search for “deficit elimination plan.”

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