The Vactor sewer cleaning machine purchase was approved at last night's Board of Trustees meeting. The meeting can be viewed tonight @ 7 pm on Comcast Ch. 15. The presentation by Mr. Trice was much more detailed than the Board Packet information. That usually isn't the case. Did someone read my previous blog? All the details of an issue should be in the Board Packet and the discussion of the issue by the Board Members should be during the public meeting. I often get the feeling that the Trustees discuss issues prior to the meeting. The vote to purchase was unanimous.
Where is the money in the budget?
According to the presentation, the want/need/planning to purchase has been going on for 4 years. Where the money is located in the budget was explained during the meeting, but quite frankly, I didn't understand the explanation. To me, the line item that runs throughout the Township budget for vehicle purchase is # 978. The Water/Sewer budget does NOT have that line item and has not for the previous two years. When you look at the negative numbers for year end Water/Sewer Fund totals for the past two years and the expected total for this fiscal year ($2,066,018) ($1,019,600) ($738,500) I continue to wonder where is the funding for a $380,688.75 sewer cleaning machine? I will agree that the machine is old but functioning well. The Township has an agreement with West Bloomfield for emergency use of their machines should the Township vehicle need repair. Could this purchase have waited a year and for a line item #978 to identify the large purchase? The fixed price is good until 2013. The old machine was not traded in, but will serve as backup. It must be stored inside the new maintenance building.
Storm sewer maintenance and storm sewer permits are entered into a different fund. Why? Those 2 items were found in the I & R Fund which received it's funding from the General Fund, your tax dollars. Total expenditure there is around $80,000 per year. Otherwise, I believe all the other expenditures come from revenue generated through your water and sewer bills (not "tax" money, but your money none-the-less) and other revenue sources or fees. With repeated year end totals in the red, it looks like either your water and sewer bills will increase or the Township leaders need to make some budget cuts.
Another Fund called: Drain @ Large had a permitted millage increase from 0.28 mills to 0.36 mills this year. That is tax dollars that must be collected to cover the costs of the bonds. Will that millage rate increase again because of continuing loss of revenue due to lower property values? You don't VOTE on those millage increases at the ballot box, it just happens. The 2012-2013 budget is being developed now with a Board of Trustees vote to approve coming soon. Stay tuned, stay informed.