City approves $5.1 million 2014-15 fiscal year budget
Tecumseh City Council approved its 2014-2015 fiscal year budget of approximately $5.1 million on Monday, May 8. Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch said the budget includes a little over $5.1 million in general fund revenues, and a little over $5.1 million in expenditures with net revenue over expenses at approximately $15,000 remaining in the general fund. The budget also includes a general ad valorem tax rate of 14.3968 mills for General Operating purposes. The fiscal year begins on July 1, 2014 and runs through June 30, 2015. During a public hearing on the budget, a resident asked the council to consider reducing or eliminating fluoride in the water, proposing this as an area that could save some money and provide better health, according to some studies. Welch recently led a workshop where department heads shared budget challenges the city may face in the future, and the council also had a draft budget to review that was very close to the final one voted on.The council members held a study session prior to the meeting to review the 2014 Strategic Plan, with Welch pointing out future budgetary concerns, including the fact that funding to properly maintain roads has been dwindling, including grants. One of the areas that council members could potentially consider would be a dedicated road millage for street repairs and maintenance. A one mill increase would generate approximately $234,000 in annual new revenue to the city. (For a more detailed story on the Strategic Plan, see the May 12 issue of the Herald.)The council members also authorized the city manager to sign a proposal with Tetra Tech of Ann Arbor in the amount of $724,300 for services to include the preparation of an Asset Management Plan, design, bidding and construction management of the Union Street pump station, trestle pipe line replacement and grant administration. A good deal of the funding will be provided through a Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater grant for $652,519 that the city was recently awarded toward engineering and design. Welch pointed out that the grant does not include actual “brick and mortar” for the project, which the city would have to pay for in the future when it is time to replace the lift station and pipeline. In other business, the council members:• Recognized Tecumseh Herald reporter Deb Wuethrich upon her pending retirement, and Sgt. Kevin Decatur, upon his retirement from the Tecumseh Police Department.• Authorized placing a list of 2006 and 2008 special assessment notices, miscellaneous and delinquent water/sewer bills on the Summer 2014 tax bills. • Approved the purchase of a pickup truck from suburban Chevrolet of Clinton for $29,243, and gave permission to sell a 1996 Chevrolet S10 for the Department of Public Works.• Amended a site reclamation grant contract between the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Tecumseh in the revised amount of $370,000 for the Salsaria’s project. Welch pointed out that the increase was for an additional $150,000 worth of work that was required for the site, and said that all funding goes toward prior contamination clean-up and not development of the property.• Approved closure of M-50/Chicago Boulevard between Pearl Street and Maumee Street on Saturday, July 19 from 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the 11th Annual Pet Parade. • Approved the transfer of the paying agent for the city’s LTGO bonds from The Bank of New York Mellon to Old National Bank due to an increase in yearly fees from $100 to $900 with the former. Old National Bank will charge approximately $350 per year.