Source: Sherman Publications

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Budgets up in Independence

July 17, 2013

Proposed departmental budgets including Assessing, Township Board, Board of Review and the Treasurer's office were presented to Independence Township Board of Trustees, July 9.

Assessing

According to Township Assessor Kristen Sieloff, the 2013/14 proposed budget includes increased labor costs of $53,023 or 14 percent when compared with the previous year's budget. Sieloff said $37,014 of the $53,023 is because the department needs to hire another staff member to keep up with state requirements.

In addition the departments operating and capital costs is projected to decrease by $40 or .1 percent.

Overall the budget is projected to increase by 12.3 percent or $52,983. Other large increases to the budget include $24,332 or a 47.3 percent increase in health care costs due to new employee coverage and addition of a family member of an employee.

The budget for part-time help will decrease a total of $11,000 or 100 percent decrease due to hiring a full-time employee. Other decreases in the budget total just over $4,500.

"I'm a pretty frugal department head," said Sieloff, "I never spend money I get."

Township Board

Board labor costs remained the same as 2013 at while operating and capital costs decreased by $164,000 or 34.7 percent compared with 2013 the overall budget was projected to decrease $164,000 or 33 percent.

Significant increases include and $18,000 audit reduction charge which is offset by a $20,000 increase for Master Plan Work performed by Carlisle/Wortman. An increase of $18,450 or 221 percent increase in storm water maintenance due to adding $20,000 for phragmites and invasive species control. Additional increases total $16,250 in miscellaneous items including contractual services, road chloride, membership fees, irrigation costs and road side cleanup.

Treasurer

Independence Township Treasurer Paul Brown presented the proposed 2014 budget to the board, July 9. In total, the budget reflects a $58,915 reduction, which includes a $9,075 decrease in health insurance costs, $39,000 reduction in contractual services, and a $6,300 reduction in equipment costs.

Miscellaneous reductions total $800 in mileage. Increases include about $ 3,000 in various costs.

Brown said he used BS & A Software to prepare the budget, which will make future budget preparers jobs easier by allowing them to "roll over" notes and information in the future. By utilizing the software, by 2015 eight hours will be saved in budget preparation time, he said.

Final budgets will be approved later this year.

Andrea Beaudoin