March 28, 2016
Last month, we indicated to you that the State of Michigan has moved funds from Michigan municipalities and used it for other purposes. Another agency at the center of Michigan businesses has studied the situation and has stated that the new proposed budget stands at over 7 billion in revenue, having been diverted from the cities, villages, townships, and counties to fund state government. A very good case can be made for the state providing revenue-sharing to pay for programs and services mandated by the state. But what is the rationale for other revenue-sharing? Did the state have a surplus they could’ve sent municipalities? The state is suggesting that they should have raised taxes in order to send money to municipalities.
The implication is that municipalities should tax the citizens of municipalities in order to send money to those municipalities. Believe it or not, Michigan is the only state in the country that reduced its total funding for municipal governments from 2002 to 2012. Those were very hard times in this state and featured a high unemployment rate. It is suggested that we should raise taxes to fund revenue-sharing. We are the 50th in the nation in municipal funding. Local funding in every other state has increased. The 49th state, Ohio, has increased total municipal funding by over 25%. The average increase – nationwide – is nearly 50%. Michigan is down almost 9% and total in the state’s investment communities is down over 56%.
In spite of the strong economy, the proposed state budget is another poor choice in a long line of failures. The state has failed to make strategic investments that promote strong communities. This strategic choice fails to recognize the enormous role that municipalities play in our economy and more important, in our daily lives.
Team One Credit Union
Team One Credit Union will be submitting an application to the Zoning Board of Appeals and schedule a meeting for a location of an ATM on Main Street. The vacant lot is across the street from the Dodge dealership. They have purchased the lot and are completing plans to put in an ATM.
This has been the subject on everybody’s mind and the need cannot be stressed enough. We have been working diligently with the prospective owners and I am sorry to say that it may be a year or two before we see a new store. They are still hopeful that the location will be on Main Street across from the Shell station. On March 22, an auction was held online for all of the items at the former Erla’s store. At this time, we do not know the results of the auction.
Michigan Grant Seminar
On April 22, 2016 9 AM until 11 AM, Senator Mike Green will be hosting a seminar on grants offered through the State of Michigan and the application process at the Brentwood. This is open to local governments, non-profits, and the public, with six different departments attending.
Parks and Recreation Committee
Our Parks and Recreation Committee, Chairwoman Nancy Barrios, Steven Erickson, and Carl Palmateer – our Village President – are working diligently to improve our playground at the park. Nancy has been very active pursuing activities that will eventually improve the park. She has formed a fundraising committee to construct a bigger and better infrastructure in the park.
Department of Public Works
We want to thank the Department of Public Works for their efforts through the winter, although so far, the snowstorms have not been too severe. The DPW’s clean-up efforts have been stellar.
Chamber of Commerce Report
The Freedom Festival is in its planning stages. The festival will start on June 30th with a golf tournament at Rolling Hills and bingo at the Lions pavilion that night. The parade will be on Saturday with other activities in the park. On Sunday, there will be an outdoor community church service to round out the weekend. The Freedom Festival Planning Committee is still looking for volunteers. If anyone is interested, please contact Judy Keller at the Village Municipal Building. The beautification process is also under way. If anyone is interested in sponsoring a flower pot, pool day, or any other item, please contact Judy Keller.