The 2014 City budget took center stage tonight at the Ishpeming City Council Meeting.
The general fund took a big hit in 2012 and 2013, dropping from close to $400,000 a few years ago to just over $172,000 at the end of the fiscal year. The gap could affect the pool of money set aside for items like local street maintenance, and sewage and water treatment. The city doesn’t have the means to update their sewage infrastructure without outside funding sources. GEI consultants are in the process of conducting a sewer and water rate analysis, which will likely lead to an increase in rates. The commission does not expect this to go over well with residents, but without a hike, the fund would eventually go bankrupt.
A number of police and fire pension plans are also under funded. A possible millage increase has been proposed to replenish those plans. Bell Hospital will bring in additional tax revenue starting in 2015, but city officials note that although the new stream will provide a lot of help, it will not be a cure all for their general funding dip.
The proposed 2014 City Budget and millage rates will be discussed at public hearing scheduled for November 6th.