Boyne City 2014-2015 budget work session

bc budget web

Benjamin Gohs

News Editor

Boyne City Commissioners met last week for a budget work session which lasted nearly eight hours, during which time numerous issues pertaining to the 2014-2015 Boyne City budget were discussed.

Boyne City Manager Michael Cain and commissioners opened the meeting discussing city equipment maintenance, various street and sewer projects that have taken advantage of grant moneys over the last year, and future projects like tentative plans to improve portions of Court Street, and a proposed riverfront property purchase. Also discussed was a potential $400,000 grant through the Safe Routes to School project, which helps municipalities create and maintain secure pedestrian routes for school children.

“We’re still in a very good place,” Cain said. “If things go as projected we’re looking to increase the fund balance this year—a good chunk of that is because we’re putting off the facility (city hall, police department, fire, EMS, etc.) until this coming fiscal year.”

City officials discussed the property tax rate Board of Review. As of the budget work session, which was held on Tuesday March 18, there had only been 15 appointments made with the board. According to city officials, that number is much lower than in years past.

“I’ve seen years of 130-150 petitions,” said Boyne City Clerk Cindy Grice. “This speaks volumes.”

Cain said the city still faces uncertainty concerning property taxes due to several factors, including the economy in general and changes that may take place in Lansing.

The proposed budget would see the millage rate remain at 15.51.

Total projected revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2015 are $12,391,898.

“We are looking to dip into our fund balance $65,318 … if we add in this $65,000 for Court Street and the $20,000 for Riverfront (property purchase) we would have to find savings somewhere else in the budget or that number would have to increase,” Cain said.

Revenue Funding is broken down thusly:

Charges for services – $152,500

Streets (excluding grants) – $1,429,581

State shared revenues and grants – $1,526,997

Other sources – $77,784

General Fund property taxes – $2,610,477

Motor pool – $481,950

Water/Wastewater – $1,824,402

DDA/LDFA – $1,340,399

Fire Department – $293,000

Miscellaneous – $2,654,808

(Miscellaneous consists of the following)

Interest & rentals – $13,200

Administrative service fees – $142,500

Ambulance – $749,535

Marina – $372,000

Airport – $143,400

Cemetery – $68,755

Rubbish collection – $35,100

Allocation from General Fund – $965,318

Boyne Thunder – $165,000

To give Boyne City’s millage rates, population, expenditures in perspective, numbers from some surrounding communities were included in this year’s proposed budget.

Population 2013

Boyne City – 3,735

Petoskey – 5,670

Charlevoix – 2,513

East Jordan – 2,351

Elk Rapids – 1,642

Municipality Taxable

Value 2013

Boyne City – $178,260,973

Petoskey – $446,133,626

Charlevoix – $237,984,404

East Jordan – $70,909,233

Elk Rapids – $106,543,583

Total Millage Levied by Municipality 2013

Boyne City – 16.51

Petoskey – 13.8318

Charlevoix – 13.0093

East Jordan – 17.7953

Elk Rapids – 11.9

General Operating Millage Levied by Municipality 2013

Boyne City – 15.51

Petoskey – 7.6707

Charlevoix – 9.05

East Jordan – 17.7953

Elk Rapids – 7.3805

The city’s property taxes total $2,503,157.

The city’s estimated taxable value collected in 2014—which includes Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificates of $11,128,600, which are taxed at 50 percent of the millage rate—is $189,847,572.

According to Cain, this figure reflects deductions for the DDA, Brownfield and LDFA tax captures. And, the taxable value will not be finalized until after the city’s March Board of Review meetings and any tax tribunal cases are resolved.

The city has $6,000 in delinquent personal property taxes, and the penalties for late payment of taxes totals $14,000.

The city expects to receive $270,000 in state sales tax revenue sharing.

Boyne City’s General Fund expenditures total $4,905,257 and include the following:

General Government – $1,857,586

Police – $673,774

Public building – $1,195,240

Transfers to other funds – $840,757

Parks & Recreation – $327,900

Housing Commission – $10,000

General government costs are broken down (all figures in parentheses are what was projected to have actually been spent last year and are included in instances where there was a substantial increase or decrease) as follows:

City Commission, including the mayor’s salary, Social Security, membership dues, and travel costs – $20,695

City planning, which includes salaries, life and medical insurance, pension, unemployment, supplies, membership dues, travel costs, training, etc. – $170,363 (The city spent $151,748 on planning in 2014; it was stated during the meeting that the planning numbers will be amended to reflect some unspecified changes.)

General services employee costs – $586,324

Elections – $2,300

Accounting/audit – $12,800

Assessment/taxes – $70,610

Legal fees – $60,000 (The city spent $35,000 on legal fees in 2014)

General Fund – $96,500 (That figure is down from $308,553 because the Boyne City Housing Commission’s $212,000 in costs were reduced to $10,000 for 2015 as the bulk of that entity is no longer included in the city’s budget)

City museum – $3,177 (Up from $1,854)

Sidewalk construction – $808,000 (up from $15,000 last year)

Contingency – $35,992