HARBOR SPRINGS — At its Monday, Dec. 17, meeting, Harbor Springs City Council will host a public hearing regarding its 2013 budget, and there's good news, says city manager Tom Richards.
"Our revenues are expected to be somewhat stable, and we don't have need to make cuts, nor have we needed to increase taxes recently," said Richards.
According to its projected unrestricted fund balances for 2013, the city will have a little more than $10 million coming in as revenue from such sources as taxes, electricity bills and water bills. It expects to spend about $10.4 million in the operation of the city, which includes street projects, funds for the police department, the water department, the Blackbird Museum, the Downtown Development Authority, costs at the waterfront, replacement of equipment and staff salaries.
Some of the bigger ticket items include some street reconstruction, in particular, the reconstruction of Bay Street from State Street through Spring Street.
"You'll recall this project was originally approved for 2012 but was delayed in response to concerns of the adjacent businesses and the impact on their fall business," wrote Richards in the budget narrative, which was handed out to council members at the council's Dec. 3 meeting.
That project is expected to cost $160,000, and includes the replacement of underground water and sewer facilities. Another street project on the docket for 2013 is the reconstruction of Lake Street from Ann Street to Hoyt Street at an estimated cost of $310,000.
The city also recommends equipment to replace older, failing equipment. Those recommendations include a new police patrol boat with a price tag of $85,000 and one of the city's flatbed trucks at a cost of $42,000.
City council met in a work group on Monday to look over the budget before presenting it to the public.
"There was discussion about the needs and justification for some of the various projects we talked about in the narratives," said Richards.
"Certainly, some of the more costly expenditures, like the reconstruction of streets that are still very passable, garner discussion about whether this is the appropriate time to do that. ... Any time you're dipping into your reserves and need to spend more in a year than you take in on an annual basis, I think there's generally a sensitivity to that."
The city council will also consider 2012's projected revenues, expenditures and its fund balance.
Through 2012, the city garnered $11.3 million in revenues, spent $9.4 million, and finished its year with a fund balance of $16 million.
Council will present the budgets at its next regular meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, at Harbor Springs City Hall.
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