Saugatuck "In Great Shape", Says City Treasurer
Of his recent bi-annual finance report for fiscal year 2016/2017 before Saugatuck City Council, Saugatuck City Treasurer Peter Stanislawski said, “We are in great shape.”
“We have collected 96 percent of revenues and expenses are 57 percent of what we said we were going to spend,” added Stanislawski of a fiscal year now seven months in, ending in June and beginning anew in July 2017.
The city’s budget is $2.4 million, with major revenue sources coming from property taxes (both real and personal property) and state shared revenues (from sales tax and gasoline tax collected by the state), according to Stanislawski. The city also collects from license and permit fees (building inspections, business licenses, etc.)
In the city’s most recent independent audit, conducted by Berthiaume & Company for fiscal year 2015/2016, the fund balance accounts for $1.8 million in unrestricted funds, a figure that equates to 80 percent of expenditures in the annual budget.
It is a factor that puts the city in a favorable financial position. But, as voiced by Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier, the city does have some $6 million in capital improvement plans in the works for the next few years.
In 2017, for example, there are half a million dollars or more in street project priorities, including a stormwater asset management plan; general crack sealing on recently improved roads (Spear and Holland streets); the replacement of a guardrail beam, spot repairs and slurry seal on Perryman Street.
In other news related to the city’s finances, the Saugatuck City Council recently authorized amendments to the budget.
“The major driving force behind the amendment was the council-approved appropriation for the police study the city wanted to conduct,” said Stanislawski.
Originally, the city allocated only $5,000 of the $15,000 required for the police study. Having been new at this, city officials did not know how much to allocate from the get-go, said Harrier.
The study aims to gauge what is the right amount of police coverage for the city and what are the possible options in terms of police service restructuring, if any, to correspond to the study results.