Montmorency approves 2014 budget

ATLANTA – The Montmorency County Board of Commissioners approved the county’s general and special fund budget for the 2014 fiscal year at a public hearing on Thursday morning. According to board Chair Gene Thornton, both the 2013 and 2014 budgets still have a few ongoing changes that will be made before a final number is settled.

“With the amendments we made last month and the amendments we just made, we have a pretty good balanced budget,” Thornton said. “We’re going to spend less than what was originally budgeted at this time in December of last year.”

The board discussed a few amendments to the 2014 budget after the hearing, including an increase in liability insurance for the sheriff’s department of $18,000 through the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority. Commissioners approved the contract for the property and liability insurance, but said an amendment will have to be made later to the 2014 budget to adjust the payment amount. The new total for property and liability for the department is $106,601.

In the county’s general fund revenues for the fiscal year 2014, an allocated millage of 5.1553 mills is included and various miscellaneous revenues which total $4,175,300, with taxes accounting for $2,902,000, state and federal grants of $528,400, and charges for services of $687,800. The estimated general fund beginning fund balance is $2,283,552.

“We don’t get taxes until the end of July because we are a summer tax levvy,” Thornton said. “So we have to have roughly $1 million to pay the payroll and all of that until the money starts coming in after July. In addition to that million, there is another million there for emergency purposes.

“I know we had the problem last year, and I know Alpena has it this year; the cost of the child care … we have to pay the whole thing, and then the state gives us half of it back, but not until the end of the year, September, so we have go from January to September paying the full amount.”

Estimated general fund expenditures for 2014 total $4,155,900, with various county costs in the courts, processing and general services, public safety and the jail, along with many other county expenditures.

Thornton said the money is there to get the county through the first half of the year before the tax money starts coming in to help with the rest of the year’s expenses. According to Thornton, the county is close to where it should be for the coming fiscal year.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.