Town of Alpena Proposed Budget Includes Planned Capital Improvement Projects | News, Sports, Jobs

News File Photo A man approaches City Hall in this file photo from March 2020.

ALPENA — The city government’s proposed budget for Alpena for the 2022-23 fiscal year shows a shortfall of $608,000, as city officials included the cost of several capital improvement projects.

In Alpena, police and fire departments, parks and local streets will see significant investments over the next year.

Cities are required to adopt balanced budgets and to cover deficits – the gaps between income and expenditure – through cash savings. Alpena had approximately $3.9 million in savings at the end of June 2021.

The city budget runs from July 1 to June 30 and the proposed budget projects revenues of $11,317,582 and expenses of $11,925,944.

City Clerk/Treasurer Anna Soik said the city’s savings have grown beyond what policy dictates, so the money will be invested in infrastructure. The policy states that the city’s fund balance cannot be less than 10% of general fund expenditures or more than 20%.

The city ended the last fiscal year with enough money in the bank to cover 38% of its expenses.

Soik said the savings used in the next fiscal year would reduce the amount of savings to about $3.2 million, or about 26% of general fund spending, which still leaves a nice reserve.

“We were conservative due to issues surrounding the loss of personal property taxes and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Soik said. “We thought we didn’t want the fund balance to grow, and there were some capital projects we had on the back burner and now is the time to get back to business and get them done.”

A few of the notable projects include funding for restrooms in Bay View Park, a redesign of Culligan Plaza, new police cars, and numerous water, sewer, and street projects.

Soik said she’s unsure if the city would invest similarly in the 2023-24 budget cycle because the city would lose revenue from its property taxes due to what’s called a Headlee rollback. .

The state’s Headlee Amendment requires a local unit of government to reduce its property tax rate when the annual growth in the value of existing properties exceeds the rate of inflation.

Soik said landowners in the city have been paying 16.1066 mills — or about $805 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home — for years, but the cut will reduce that amount to 16.0373 mills. , or about $801 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home. .

The city can ask residents to maintain the same tax rate through a ballot proposal.

“Hopefully we can continue to do the (capital improvement) projects, but it will all depend on the revenue,” Soik said.

The city will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2022-23 budget at the next Alpena City Council meeting, scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.

The council likely won’t pass the budget then, Soik said, because the city wants to allow residents to ask questions, share concerns or make suggestions.

“We want to give people the opportunity to comment and not just limit it to a public hearing,” she said. “I would expect the board to pass it at its first meeting in June.”

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