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Street Repairs Part of Macomb's Next Budget

Mar 13, 2012

Macomb City Administrator Dean Torreson this week gave aldermen an overview of the city's proposed new budget, which will go into effect May 1.

He said the budget includes money for fixing several streets. The money comes from a one-cent sales tax. Voters agreed in February 2011 to increase that tax from half-a-cent to a full cent.

"Our sales tax revenue has been coming it at the projected rate," Torreson said. "It did double so we're right on target there."

Torreson said street projects this construction season will include the reconstruction of Charles Street, engineering design work for West Carroll Street, the re-paving of a city parking lot along Washington Street, and overlays on various streets around town.

Torreson also told aldermen there will be an estimated $600,000 shortfall in the general fund due to several single-time expenses, including one involving public safety.

"Our (storm) siren system is over 40 years old and continually breaking down. We have $130,000 in the budget to replace the siren system," Torreson said.

Another single-time expense is the special census, which the city hopes to conduct this fall. He said $150,000 is budgeted for that expense.

Torreson said Macomb also needs to catch up on equipment purchases after holding off on such purchases for several years.

He said the city will use reserve cash to cover the shortfall.

"We have a reserve that has built up to a higher level than what we normally have. We've done that because we made some cost cutting measures over the last two to three years."

Torreson is recommending a water rate increase of 5%. He said the city has a backlog of distribution system improvements and maintenance projects that need to be addressed.

Aldermen are scheduled to hold first reading of the new budget April 2. They will be asked to give final approval April 16.