Refuse Authority budget mirrors that of previous year

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 27, 2023

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HARPER WOODS/GROSSE POINTES — The Grosse Pointes-Clinton Refuse Disposal Authority budget for the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year — which starts July 1 — is nearly an exact replica of the 2022 to 2023 budget.

As was the case last year, the GPCRDA has a budget of $948,300 in anticipated revenues and expenditures for the coming year. The GPCRDA Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the new budget during a meeting May 9 in Harper Woods.

There will be no change to the administrative fee in the coming year, said certified public accountant Lynn Gromaski, who handles the finances for the GPCRDA.

“So far, our administrative fees have been able to keep us balanced,” Gromaski said.

On July 1, 2017, a higher administrative fee — which rose from $1 per ton of trash to $3 per ton, for a $2 per ton increase — went into effect for the member communities, because the old fee was no longer covering expenses such as insurance and contributions to the pension system. Member communities — the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods — have been paying the $3 per ton fee ever since.

The elimination of a rented storage unit in Detroit — which housed old GPCRDA records — is expected to save about $900 per year. During the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, several GPCRDA members and the board’s attorney went through the contents of the storage unit and determined that the vast majority of those files — which dated back about 20 years — were no longer needed and could be shredded. Anything that might be needed in the future was retained.

“We’re pleased to have just minor adjustments to the budget this year, pleased to have things balancing and be a bit in the black this year,” GPCRDA Board Chair Terry Brennan said after the meeting.

The 2023 to 2024 budget includes a pension contribution of $23,400. Gromaski said they won’t know until July whether or not they need to make a pension payment. Over the last couple of years, no pension contributions were necessary, so the funds budgeted for that purpose were set aside in the rainy day fund. Last year, $25,463 was budgeted for the pension.

The GPCRDA’s pension plan is managed by the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, or MERS.

Gromaski said there are about 15 former GPCRDA employees on the pension plan. They used to work at the GPCRDA’s incinerator, located at 33701 Lipke Road in Clinton Township, in the area of 14 Mile Road and Interstate 94. The property has been vacant since the incinerator ceased operations in 1999. The incinerator was demolished in 2001. At press time, the GPCRDA was still seeking a developer to purchase the 64-acre parcel, which features a lake.