Source: Sherman Publications

City approves 2013 budget

by Andrea Beaudoin

July 03, 2013

City Council approved the final 2012-13 fiscal year budget during the June 24 meeting.

Total revenues for the city are projected to be $663,902 while expenditures are $688,404, leaving the city short $38,552. The deficit will come out of Clarkston’s fund balance, or what the city has in its bank account, leaving just over $280,000.

“A very healthy balance,” said City Manager Carol Eberhardt.

“We have a fund balance of 41.3 percent of general fund expenditures,” said Councilman Richard Bisio. “A reasonable balance of expenditures is 15-20 percent.”

He added that 20 percent is on the high side, and Clarkston residents are being taxed at a 13.1979 tax rate. “It is the highest the city can legally tax its residents,” said Bisio.

Bisio recommended taking a closer look at reducing the fund balance by over $144,000. “The fund balance could be reduced,” he said.

The council passed several resolutions during the meeting approving various areas of the budget including the General Fund Budget, Major and Local Road budgets, Mill Pond Budget, Operating Tax Millage and the Capital Improvement Fund.

Raises for city workers were also included in the budget including: clerk, $9,800 to $10,664, 8.8 percent; treasurer, $11,455 to $15,563, 35.9 percent; clerical staff, $7,288 to $8,463, 16.1 percent; grounds staff, $15,000 to $22,093, 47.3 percent, and Building Department clerical staff, $9,000 to $11,688, 29.9 percent.

The biggest expenditures in the budget are Police $116,536, Fire $133,495 and Workers Compensation at a cost of $59,130. Other large expenditures include building inspection $33,066, Department of Public Works $26,961, Planning $23,420 and the Library. Another major expense in the budget was Highways, Streets and Bridges at a cost of $23,759 and $17,000 in attorney fees.

Mayor Joe Luginski thanked the finance committee and sent a special thanks to Treasurer Sandra Barlass for her work on the budget.

Luginski also thanked Bisio for his help reviewing the budget.

“The finance committee has gone over this for the very lengthy amount of time starting in January working on the budget,” said City Manager Carol Eberhardt.

She added that the committee as tried to make sure the city stays fiscally sound. Future plans include creating a 3 to 5 year plan to make plans for capital expenditures in a special new capital improvement fund created by the council.

Revenue deceases include a $5,000 reduction in federal funding, a $5,500 decrease in charges for services and just over 7,500 in other reductions.