Source: Sherman Publications

News
Village fund equity balance remains healthy at 56 percent

by Susan Bromley

June 13, 2012

Ortonville- The village continues to have a healthy fund balance and unlike other governmental entities, the council has no planned cuts to the budget again this year.

During a public hearing on the 2012-13 village budget, Village Manager John Lyons said the village has a projected fund balance of $264,425, or roughly 56 percent. The budget has revenues and expenditures of $471,922.

“The village is in sound financial condition,” said Lyons.

The state of Michigan generally recommends that municipalities keep a fund balance between 15 to 25 percent of the total budget. The fund balance has been reduced from last year by approximately $317,019 due to spending on road projects for Varsity Drive, Pond Street and James Street, as well as expenditures relating to the purchase of Narrin Street property and environmental studies on the property.

The village plans to close on the Narrin Street property on July 10, with a purchase price of $38,000. The council unanimously approved paying Apex Company a $2,000 deposit for the property at 255 Narrin St. Apex, based in Pennsylvania, is a mortgage company that owns the property after a foreclosure. The village also obtained property at 278 Narrin at no cost due to unpaid back taxes. The council is considering both properties for a waste water treatment plant, which could be used to service businesses and residences within the village as well as Brandon Schools. Environmental studies have been conducted on both properties with satisfactory results.

“We will do some basic cleanup and begin negotiations with MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality),” Lyons said. “The village will seek grant and loan funding for sewers and see what we can get. There are lots of different ways to try to get money.”

A more immediate project for the village will be the repair of the Ball Street Bridge. Lyons said the village will use will use $34,000 of the fund balance this year to contract services for design of the bridge. Construction of the bridge will begin next year, with total cost estimated to be $679,000. The Michigan Department of Transportation will fund 95 percent of construction, with the village responsible for an estimated $102,000 in engineering costs and 5 percent of construction.