Source: Sherman Publications

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Groveland Twp. fund balance stays strong

by David Fleet

September 28, 2011

Groveland Twp.- In August, Ken Palka, from the accounting firm of Pfeffer, Hanniford and Palka, reported on the township finances following the completion of the yearly audit. The board approved the audit ending March 31, 2011.

"We were ecstatic with the clean audit," said Bob DePalma, township supervisor. "It's better than I anticipated."

Palka reported about $293,000 surplus revenue. State shared revenues remained about the same as last year as about $400,000 came in to the township. The township remained on soild financial ground with nearly $2.1 million in the infrastructure fund, just over 200 percent based on a budget of $1 million. The fund is earmarked for projects such as road paving and emergency reserves.

"We have been proactive over the years and have frozen salaries in addition to not replacing postions in the township," said DePalma. "The reports are that state sales tax has increased so we could see an increase next year in state shared revenues—so perhaps next year it may be a little higher but at least no less."

"With the shape the state of Michigan is in right now, a $2.1 million balance gives lawmakers the wrong impression, so we can't leave the money in a general fund account," he said. Many projects we need to save up, thus we have a balance. It's just fiscally responsible."

DePalma said about $500,000 from the general fund was used to pay off a loan from Oxford Bank for fire trucks purchased about seven years ago.

"That should save the township about $12,000 over the length of the loan. The fire fund will then reimburse the township," he said.

Some of the infrastructure fund will be used on a 2013 paving about one mile of Oak Hill Road between Kier Road and Dixie Highway. The $1.5 million project will be paid for with 80 percent federal funding and shared dollars from Springfield Township.

"We started working on getting funding for the project about two years ago.—it just takes a long time to get moving."

DePalma said the township will continue to seek a developer after a project fizzled earlier this year.

Development of the 197 acres of township property located north of Grange Hall Road, east of I-75 and west of Dixie Highway with a small section of the property located on the southeast corner of Grange Hall and Worden roads, hit a snag as investors stepped down from a $4 million set-up in 2008.

Not in the future will be a new building to replace fire station one locatted on Dixie Highway.

Over the past year several renovations have been done to the existing building.