Macomb Township Board approves assessment district, 2023 budget

By: Dean Vaglia | Macomb Chronicle | Published June 22, 2022

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a special assessment district proposal to repair neighborhood roads south of 22 Mile Road at its meeting on June 8.

“The residents of Chelsea Park had approached the board and asked for some assistance with their road improvement,” said Macomb Township Treasurer Leon Drolet. “They’ve collected an adequate number of signatures in support of it.”

Sent to the board with about 70% of the affected residents signing their approval, all that was left for the trustees to do was hold a public hearing, sort out three remaining details and approve the district creation’s second reading.

The district will raise revenue to repair Chelsea Park Drive, Newcastle Court and Amsbury Drive.  The project will cost $306,481.98, spread over 15 years at a rate ranging from $627 to $941 per year based on property size, due on June 1 at an interest rate of 3.27%. Construction is expected to run from early October to mid-November 2022, and the first payment will be due in 2023.

The 15-year timeline was chosen to keep the costs reasonable for residents in the district.

“Unfortunately, the estimates came in higher than we would’ve liked,” Drolet said. “So (to) make it a little less of a burden, the request was to make it a little bit longer of a term.”

Trustee Peter Lucido expressed concern over whether the 15-year term would allow for the payments to end before the roads would need to be repaired again, though Jim Van Tiflin, Macomb Township land development director, did not think such an issue would occur.

“With the new county road standards, I think 15 years is a fair number,” Van Tiflin said. “There are a number of developments that I’ve seen since they changed the standards that have lasted 15 years. Not to say that there aren’t some issues here and there, but I don’t think to the extent that we’ve seen before that standard was changed. … It’s a risk but a low risk at this point.”

Board sets 2022-2023 budget, millage rates
On June 8, the board set the budget and millage rates for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The millage rates are 0.6285 for general operations, 1.9 for fire operations, 0.09 for fire pensions, 1.5 for police funding and 0.7625 for parks.

The general operations and parks millages are down from 0.6314 mils and 0.7693 mils in 2022, respectively, while the fire and police millages are the same rates as before.

If approved in August, the proposed parks millage rate of 0.75 mills will replace the 0.7625 mills rate.

Several changes were made to the proposed budget at the meeting, at the request of Stacy Smith, the township’s chief financial officer. The first was to reduce the Treasury Department’s budget by $1,450. The second was increasing the Department of Public Works’ consulting fee budget by $5,000 in anticipation of possible water connection study. The public improvement fund was also reduced by $50,000 to reflect the spending in the prior fiscal year.

Other changes to the budget included reducing the broadcast media budget by $211,627, adding $86,350 for employee retention bonuses and adding $151,572 to create a full-time information technology position. With the changes made at the meeting, the budget is projected to have a $663,519 surplus.

While the majority of budget changes were passed unanimously, Trustee Frank Cusumano Jr. voted against the retention bonus on the belief such bonuses should be handled through the collective bargaining process. Other board members believed the bonuses would help keep employees with the township rather than seek employment elsewhere.