The City Commission adopted the 2016-2017 millage rates, general fund and special funds budgets during Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
The city millage will be 15.419, an overall increase of 0.683. That includes 8.740 mills for general city operations (no change from 2015-16); 0.5 mills for capital projects (a new millage for capital projects, including debt on a new Police Department facility); 1.5 mills for street and drainage improvements (no change); and 4.679 for police and fire retirement (0.183 increase from 2015-16).
The adopted budget reflects a $591,896 decrease in the city’s fund balance to make up for the difference between $45,453,754 in revenue and $46,045,650 in expenditures in the new budget. This will ensure that city services will remain at their current levels.
“Operating a Michigan city is extremely difficult right now,” said City Manager Rebecca Fleury, who spoke at a Michigan Municipal League press conference last month regarding the need to re-examine state funding to local governments. “Our proposed budget includes a millage increase to balance the budget with a bond payment built in for a police station, but not a fire station, when we need both.
“Our elected officials are forced to make tough choices to make ends meet. In 2016 Battle Creek should not have fewer police officers and fire personnel, and 100 fewer city employees to meet the needs of our citizens.”
The city’s budget includes 24 other funds, including local streets, building inspection, Battle Creek Transit, water and sewer.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.