Kingsford budget proposed


News Editor

KINGSFORD – Kingsford’s city tax rate will see a tiny decline under a proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The total millage for city purposes under the 2013-14 budget is 21.996 mills, a decline of 0.016 mills, or a dip of 0.1 percent.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at city hall.

The city millage breaks down as follows:

– 17.222 mills for the general operating fund, the same as the current rate.

– 3.083 mills for police and firefighter pensions, an increase of 0.049 mills.

– 1.191 mills for the public works facility debt service, a decline of 0.065 mills.

– 0.5 mills for city roads and streets, the same as the current rate, as approved by voters in a county-wide vote in February 2012.

Revenues from the 0.5-mill road levy, totaling about $63,000, will be spent entirely on paving, said City Manager Tony Edlebeck. In all, the city expects to spend $140,000 on local street paving and an additional $50,000 on alley paving in the upcoming fiscal year, Edlebeck said.

Separately, work will begin soon on the previously announced Hamilton Avenue project (four blocks, running west from Flivver Field), with the estimated $235,000 cost aided by a $160,000 Michigan Department of Transportation grant.

The 2013-14 budget calls for a one-person increase in public works staffing, bringing the total number of workers to 12. That number is still down from a level that was once 16, Edlebeck noted.

Proposed general fund spending totals $3.8 million, up from $3.6 million a year ago. Most of the increase comes from a contribution of $150,000 to a capital improvement fund, anticipating the purchase of garbage truck as early as next year at a cost of $190,000.

Down the road, the city also anticipates the need for a fire truck in 2018-19 at a cost of $350,000.

The city expects to enter the upcoming fiscal year with a general fund balance of $1.3 million, which is about $100,000 more than a year ago. The projected fund balance for June 30, 2014, is $1.02 million.

Anticipated city revenue from property taxes in the upcoming fiscal year is nearly $2.79 million, an increase of about $25,000, or 0.9 percent. The total of all taxable valuations in the city (on which the tax rate is based) is just shy of $127 million, up $1.2 million, or about 1 percent.

On a home worth $80,000 (equalized value of $40,000), a tax rate of 21.996 mills amounts to $880.

Jim Anderson’s email address is