January 09, 2013 - Reviewing Independence Township finances, Police, Fire, Safety Path, Water and Sewer and General Funds will finish the year pretty much in accordance with the 2012 plan. For example:
General Fund, up $319K due to increased building fees and lower salary expenses;
Fire Fund, down $1.58 million due to planned purchased of three fire trucks and negotiated HSA Payment;
Police Fund, up $193K due to decrease in yearly county fees;
Cable, down $76K due to studio equipment purchase;
Safety Path, up $24K, delay N. Sashabaw Safety Path Project;
Sewer, down $1.8M due to plan to subsidize Tri-County/Detroit Sewage Project Fees for township residents; and
Water, up $65K, increase in building volumes.
Interest income was overestimated when the 2012 budget was first put together. A $108,000 adjustment downward was made spread across multiple fund balances.
The Water and Sewer Funds for 2013/14/15 are what is giving us cause for concern. While Operating Costs have remained flat over the past several years, the townships in north Oakland County are getting "clobbered" with yearly fee increases from major tri-county interceptor projects needed to upgrade the flow of our waste to treatment plants in Macomb and soon Pontiac.
The approved 2013/14/15 budget has the township deficit spending over $1 million per year to subsidize these project costs out of the Sewer Unrestricted Cash accounts. While a short term fix to keep sewer costs low, there will be a time where we will have to replace the cash from these Unrestricted Funds to cover needed repairs and capital improvements.
We are putting a Citizen Action Team together to review the business model for the Water and Sewer departments to ensure the model going forward is realistic and viable over the long term.
If you are interested in volunteering, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for residents with strong financial skills and/or an understanding of the mechanics of waste removal to help ensure a sound fiscal policy and communication strategy is put in place.
And just one more thank you goes to the Independence Rotary Club. Joe Waldron and Bart Clark from the Rotary invited us to a "Shoes for Tots" Christmas program on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Oakland Woods Baptist Church on Maybee Road.
Over 450 kids received hats, gloves, scarves, shoes and an optical exam on behalf of the very generous folks from the community. What a great event. What a bunch of great people. You gotta love Independence.
In closing, all of us at Independence Township wish each and every one of our residents a safe and happy New Year.
Contact Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle at email@example.com.