Keith Ogden of the Charlevoix County Road Commission recently presented the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners with the annual road commission report.
According to Ogden, the road commission has been treading water for about 12 years, and because Proposition 1 resulted in a “no” vote, it must look at other ways to generate funding.
“We made it through last winter without losing our shirt, and the long-range forecast that I talked about at our last annual report was remarkably accurate,” said Ogden. “A little more winter than our recent normal—a little less snow than last year—and a little colder.”
He added, “Less snow meant less salt, which helped our winter budget. we’ve actually got a little salt left over we can use this coming year.”
The Road Commission’s Annual Report states the 2013 and 2014 expenditures as follows:
• Primary Maintenance Of 9/30/13: $978,704
• Primary Maintenance Of 9/30/14: $955,981
• Local Maintenance Of 9/30/13: $1,452,376
Local Maintenance Of 9/30/14: • $1,703,271
• Trunk Line Maintenance Of 9/30/13: $465,774
• Trunk Line Maintenance Of 9/30/14: $740,662
• Administrative Of 9/30/13: $451,011
• Administrative Of 9/30/14: $443,189
• Depreciation Of 9/30/13: $2,424,381
• Depreciation Of 9/30/14: $2,475,209
• Total Expenses Of 9/30/13: $5,772,246
• Total Expenses Of 9/30/14: $6,318,312
• Change In Net Position Of 9/30/13: $1,138,987
• Change In Net Position Of 9/30/14: $783,951
“Just barely out of the 2014 fiscal year, we bought a new grader,” Ogden said. “Instead of trading in the old grader in our normal buy-back program, we are going to keep it and send it to Beaver Island—it’s been needed over there for a number of years.”
According to Ogden, the financial report is similar to last year’s and they passed the inspection.
He also said the fund balance is where it should be.
“We are kind of thin on our staffing, which reflects our conservative management. But, thin staff also means that our employees paychecks are thin,” Ogden said. “As the economy improves, it’s going to be increasingly more difficult to keep good employees who might otherwise leave for better economic opportunities…. So, the only way we can address this is with a funding increase.”
The report states the net position in 2014 increased by two percent—this is because of greater investment in new capital assets.
“Management is confident the $2,635,650 fund balance provides sufficient working capital to support future CCRC operations,” the report states.
The road commission is in debt to Charlevoix County, totaling $1,600,000, along with $38,356 associated with compensated absences.
“Charlevoix county paid $2,000,000 in 2012 for the construction of the Boyne City/Charlevoix Road,” the report states. “The CCRC will pay the county $200,000 per year for the next eight years out of each of the year’s road millage tax receipts.”