2017-03-16 / News

Metamora Twp. approves budgets for its police, fire departments

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com

METAMORA TWP. — The Metamora Township Board on Monday allocated more than $700,000 in property taxes collected from its residents toward public safety to be spent next year.

The board unanimously approved the 2017-2018 budget for the township’s police and fire departments.

The budget year runs April 1 through March 31.

Police Chief Dave Mallett was on hand to answer questions from residents and the township board during a public hearing, though there was no comment from citizens. The department’s projected budget for 2017-2018 is $502,803.70.

The largest line item in the police budget — $296,243.70 — are wages for department staff that includes four full-time officers, six part-time officers, two part-time clerks and four reserve officers. Health insurance is expected to cost the department $48,000.

The budget reflects an earmark of $33,550 for future purchases. Mallett anticipates the purchase of a new police vehicle next year, as well as to replace 12-year-old Taser units carried by officers.

The township board on Monday approved setting the 2017 millage rate for police operations at 2.167 that’s expected to generate $488,600. The millage rate is preliminary dependent upon if the tax roll stays unchanged following challenges made by homeowners of their property assessment.

Fire Chief Dave Eady won approval by the board for his department’s $202,851.82 budget for 2017-2018. The largest budget item — $73,619.80 — were toward wages for fire officers and the one full-time firefighter. The department budgeted $24,000 to repay the township’s general operating budget for a $100,000 loan that allowed it to purchase 30 oxygen masks and 15 air packs.

Health insurance for the fire department will cost $15,000. Budgeted for truck equipment and repair as well as maintenance equipment and a salary for an equipment officer is $13,913.

“Fire trucks are very expensive. We spend a lot to keep them tested and running in top condition,” said Eady. “We don’t have the money for any new trucks right now, so it’s important to stay on top of maintenance.” His next significant purchase may be a new ambulance rig used by medical first responders, though Eady said that will wait until it’s determined whether Lapeer County EMS might establish a base in the community.

The fire millage, barring any changes after the final tax roll is established, was approved Monday evening at a rate of .9324.

In February, reported Eady, the fire department responded to five fires that included assists to Oxford and Lapeer Fire & Rescue for grass fires, 17 medical calls and three personal injury accidents.

The township board also set the overall township millage rate, submitted by assessor Tom Schlichting, at 1.3632 that’s projected to generate $307,400 for township government operations.

In other business:

• The township awarded a $30,499.20 contract to Road Maintenance Corp. of Leonard for dust control on township roads throughout the summer. Three applications of mineral well brine will be applied.

• Jostock Trucking of Mayfield Township was awarded a $3,200 single-pass roadside mowing contract to cut grass along township roadways this summer.

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