The Wolverine Lake Village Council unanimously adopted the village’s budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12 at its Thursday, June 9, meeting, putting into place a spending plan that nets a gain in the village’s General Fund balance of about $140,000 and maintains the overall millage rate.
“We did so much work last year to put ourselves in a good position to weather declines in property values and state shared revenue, so I’m please we’ve stored a healthy fund balance,” said Village Council President John Magee.
The village’s beginning fund balance as of July 1 is projected at $1.53 million, while the fund balance on June 30, 2012 is projected to be $1.67 million, according to Treasurer Mike Kondek.
“We are the exception to the rule in municipalities, to add to the fund balance over the year,” he said.
Changes that impacted the budget include the elimination of the police chief and city clerk positions, and placing the cost of refuse collection on the consumer.
“We’re billing that cost out to the residents so the cost is stripped out of the General Fund, making it revenue neutral and therefore adding to the fund balance,” Kondek said.
In the past, collection of trash and yard waste was the village’s third-largest expenditure.
Total General Fund operating revenues for the village during FY 2001-12 are estimated to be $2.2 million. The three primary sources of revenue include property taxes ($1.29 million), refuse fees ($309,000), and state shared revenue ($283,000).
Total General Fund expenditures are set at approximately $2 million. About 30 percent of the expenditures are for the police department ($669,000). Another $425,000 is budgeted for general services, while $309,000 is budgeted for refuse and leaf collection.
“The refuse (collection) is a wash in the budget,” Kondek explained.
Waste collection contractor costs are divided by the number of stops and the per unit price, and passed onto the consumer.
“There’s no up-charge — it just covers the basic costs,” Kondek said.
Now that the village has severed its shared police services agreement with Walled Lake, police department restructuring and new staffing levels amount to a savings of roughly $60,000.
“That is nearly half of what we are putting into the fund balance this year, so it’s significant,” Magee said.
Capital outlay project expenses include approximately $35,000 for the purchase of a new police car, which is standard procedure every other year. About $41,500 will go toward a new multi-use truck for the Department of Public Works, while some improvements on the Vita Trail are estimated at $30,000.
“Parks and Recreation wants an exercise loop with individual work stations there,” Kondek said. “In tandem with Commerce Township, property enhancements may be facilitated at Hickory Glen Park to make room for a Frisbee golf course. By refurbishing the Vita Trail with Commerce, the effort is augmented to be used for many people.”
“It also shows that we’re still investing in village infrastructure,” Magee said.
The village stands to receive roughly $158,000 in major road revenue, a decrease of $2,000 under the current budget.
Local road maintenance revenue is pegged at $76,000, $1,000 less than the current budget’s figure.
“We won’t be paving, but will be maintaining what we have,” Kondek said.
The new budget retains a steady millage of 9.573, the village’s tax rate since 1996.
“We’re still under the Headlee (Amendment) limit, so we could in theory increase the millage, but we managed to ride out the financial crisis without doing so,” Magee said.
A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, which is generally equal to half the property’s market value. The owner of a city property with taxable value of $100,000 is expected to pay $957 in village taxes during the budget cycle.