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Brandon Township begins work on 2012 budget



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June 15, 2011 - By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Brandon Twp.- A healthy fund balance and public safety are the top priorities as township officials begin work on the 2012 budget.

The township board had their first budget workshop of the year June 13.

Supervisor Kathy Thurman said the workshop went well as the board discussed steps and moving forward in preparing the budget for 2012, as well as for 2013 and 2014.

"If we receive any surpluses, our primary concerns are to make sure we have an adequate fund balance, along with funding police and fire as best we can to avoid having to raise any millages," she said.

The state and Michigan Township Association recommends municipalities have a fund balance between 15-25 percent of the total budget. Brandon Township has a total budget of about $1.5 million.

Last year, the township held a series of intensive budget meetings which included an outside facilitator as board members hammered out not only their current year budget, but a 3-year financial plan. Numerous cuts were made, including reductions to police and township office employees.

Thurman anticipates that other than the planned reduction of a full-time recreation administrative assistant position to a part-time employee next year, no other cuts will need to be made.

Following an audit report earlier this month by Layton & Richardson, the board learned they came in $143,177 under budget for 2010. Thurman said $70,000 of the surplus came from "audit adjustments—a transfer from the police fund, one a transfer that had previously been done in the retirement line item and funds that were supposed to go in the designated fund but were left in the general fund."

"It was due to journal entries that needed to be done for the accrual auditing method," she continued.

"The rest can be attributed to good budgeting practices. If you have good budgeting practices, you will experience a carry forward every year."

The next township board meeting is set for 7:30 p.m., July 5, at the township offices, 395 Mill St.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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