Standish City Council attempts to balance general fund in several ways

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STANDISH — One layoff, administration pay cuts, sales, department cuts and an additional tax collection – all were either approved or proposed over the last week by the Standish City Council to balance its fiscal year 2010 general fund balance, which was facing a deficit of over $200,000.

According to City Clerk Becky Lakin, one Department of Public Works employee was laid off by the city, which is anticipated to save approximately $21,492 between Nov. 1 and the end of the fiscal year, June 30. The layoff was passed by City Council Monday night.

Lakin, along with City Manager Mike Moran, Office Manager Janice Cuttita and Treasurer Peggy Burtch will all begin working fewer hours next month, as the city’s administrative staff will work four-day weeks. This is estimated to save the city $22,102 over the fiscal year. City Hall will continue to remain open for five days a week.

Moran also volunteered to take a $5,000 pay cut this year and also said he’d reject his two yearly insurance opt-out payments of $1,900, which attributes $8,800 in savings to the city from Moran altogether.

Also on Monday, the city proposed to increase the Standish Area Fire Authority’s fire barn rental price by more than double its current rate, $4,500 per year, as council started to mull over a hike of $5,200 per year for the fire department.

According to Lakin, the city is also hoping to sell one city police car, a DPW vehicle, sold a $36,500 parcel to the Arenac County Road Commission and sold another piece of property to DeShano Construction, which should bring $26,500 to the city.

On Oct. 15, at another special meeting, council cut out $42,500 from the city police budget, approved summer and winter tax collection administration fees of one-percent, which is expected to bring in $12,000 in revenue, and cancelled rug and cleaning services, which combined to save $2,000.

The city also reformed its short-term disability and life insurance policies for employees, which is believed to keep about $3,000 in the city’s coffers.

However, even after the cuts and additional revenue streams proposed, and including $38,000 in anticipated state revenue sharing, which hasn’t been approved in the state government, the city is still facing an approximately $20,000 general fund budget for FY 2010.

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