2005-05-20 / News

City Prepares for 2005-06 Projects With Increased General Fund

By Ryan Schlehuber

  • The City of Mackinac Island has $84,900 more in its general fund this year than last as it heads into a new fiscal year, which began April 1.
  • Paying off a $125,660 bank loan that funded the road repair project on Cadotte Avenue in 1998, is the city’s largest financial relief this year, however, the city has earmarked $125,000 for legal fees, as it faces legal battles with Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry over the boat company’s restricted freight operation license, and Ryba’s Properties, which filed a property tax appeal with the Michigan Tax Tribunal, and owes attorney fees for the renewal of the ferry franchise agreement and renewal of the police contracts.

    Other larger expenses facing the city this year are street light globe replacements, repair to brick pavers at the city park, hiring a professional consultant to assist in updating the city’s master plan, renovations to the public restroom building, and repairing sections of roads, especially in front of Marquette Park and sections on Cadotte Avenue near French Outpost and Chambers’ Riding Stables.

    Last year, the city exceeded its $75,000 legal budget , mostly in contesting the use of electric-assist bicycles by former Stonebrook resident Don Bertrand and Steve Christie, former owner of Mackinac Island Florist. The city ultimately lost the battle to keep such bicycles off the Island, in a case that went to the Michigan Supreme Court.

    About $150,000 will be transferred from the city’s capital fund to its general fund to allow for some cushion until the city begins collecting property taxes in July. The capital fund has an estimated $500,000.

    In April, City Council approved three-year contract renewals for City Engineer Dennis Dombroski, Recreation Department Director Leanne Brodeur, and police officers, not including the chief or the lieutenant. All of them received a 2.5 percent raise.

    Projects slated for this year include repairing porches on city buildings, renovating the former medical center building into apartments, possibly for police officers, upgrading the city’s generator, adding another public restroom facility, painting the fire hall and community hall, renovating the Stuart House’s chimneys and its basement to historical accuracy, and possibly selling its Mission district apartments to help fund the renovation of the old medical center building.

    A comparison of City of Mackinac Island’s operating budget for 2004-05, which expired March 31, 2005 and the 2005-06 budget, which was adopted March 31, 2005:

    FUNDS2004-052005-06Difference

    General Fund$1,817,585$1,902,485$84,900

    Library Fund$55,000$51,561$3,439

    Major Street Fund$183,264$121,450$61,814

    Local Street Fund$ 121,626$168,482$46,856

    Fire Hall Debt Retirement Fund$71,850$69,230$ 2,620

    Cemetery Fund$16,335$16,300$35

    Capital Projects Fund$37,000$50,000$13,000

    M.T.F. Bond Debt Service Fund$ 20,810$21,000$190

    S.I.B. Loan Debt Service Fund$125,660(paid off)$125,660

    Building Department Fund$ 86,000$82,800$3,200

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