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City to approve budget tonight

 

N-City-logo-webBy Judy Reed

The City of Cedar Springs has a lot on their agenda tonight, Thursday, May 14, including approval of the 2015-2016 budget.

This year’s proposed budget—$3,928,874—is coming in almost $284,000 less than last year’s budget of $4,212,502.

“Last year we took more money out of the fund balance to balance the budget,” explained City Finance Director Deb Brunett. “This year we are only taking $8,600 out of the fund balance to fund the additions to the budget that the City Council asked for at the budget meeting.”

Those additions included money for the joint fire study with Solon Township, Earth Day, reinstatement of beautification awards, and the Model-A Fire truck restoration.

There are two areas where residents may notice a difference: in their water/sewer bills, and in maintenance of major and local streets. But the differences are tied to a big sewer project on tap for this summer.

As part of the 2015 proposed fee schedule, the City will approve a rate hike in city water and sewer fees. “The fees are being raised so the city can make payments on the bonds they are purchasing for the sewer project,” explained Brunett. She said the average household should see an increase of about $5.99 a month on their bill.

Sewer rates will rise from $15.35/unit to $19.35 unit; sewer usage fees will increase from $4.66/1000 gallons to $4.67/100 gallons; water debt will increase from $4.69/unit to $6.44/unit; and water usage fees will go from $3.65/1000 gallons to $3.68/1000 gallons.

The major and local streets section saw a big reduction in maintenance revenue, but Brunett said that many streets will be redone where the sewer project takes place. Other than that, no new street projects will take place except for Beech Street, which was already planned.

Other items up for a vote tonight include: approve 2015-2016 millage rate (did not change); the new fee schedule; approve bids for sewer project; reinstate council finance committee; and approve standard policy for recording of council  meetings.

There are many other things on the agenda to be discussed, including hearing a Freedom of Information Act appeal; approving a contract for Christmas decorations with a supplier; a new FOIA policy for the city; and a  dispatch agreement with Kent County.  There will also be discussion on requests from the Community Building Development team regarding a trade of properties; a use agreement for the proposed amphitheatre; a use agreement for rain gardens, sculpture, and wetland delineation on city property; and use agreement on a proposed boardwalk on city property. There will also be discussion on a possible agreement with the Red Flannel Festival over licensing and in kind services. (click here for story)

To see what else is on the agenda and get all the info, visit www.cityofcedarsprings.org then click on Meetings/minutes, then 2015 council documents, then the May 14 agenda packet to get complete information.

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