Snyder recommends full funding: Counties await state’s decision
HARRISVILLE Although Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recommended 100 percent full funding for county revenue sharing in 2015, Alcona County officials were trying Friday to figure out exactly what this could mean.
First, the governor’s proposal has to be approved by the house and senate, even though his office reported that the amount could total over $211 million for fiscal year 2015.
“Will the Michigan government in fact pass the governor’s budget?” Alcona County Commissioner Carolyn Brummund asked. “If that doesn’t happen, all this is for nothing.”
Second, the system may provide funds to counties, which have already depleted their revenue sharing kitties. So Alcona County won’t benefit, officials said. They’ve been carefully managing their revenue sharing reserve fund since it was created in 2004, and don’t anticipate they’re eligible for a new go-round until 2016.
That was the last time the county was authorized to receive money through the complicated system that captured dollars for the reserve between 2005 to 2007, Alcona County Treasurer Cheryl Franks said Friday.
“There was a shift of the county’s allocated millage from the summer to the winter, and it was a three-year process,” she said.
This year the county will be able to withdraw $238,876 and use 100 percent of that money, because they still have money in the fund, said Brummund, who is finance chairman.
“We will be able to continue to get that 100 percent until we run out,” she said.
As for the $211 million figure, she said she was afraid to guess how it will be used and where it will go.
She noted that the state often requests that Michigan counties meet higher standards and codes. Yet, the state does not supply money so those changes can be made, she said.
Board of Commissioner President Kevin Boyat said if there is any additional money coming to Alcona, he’d like to see it go into the retirement fund for county employees.
“Our retirement is not at 100 percent funded,” he said. “Instead it’s around 75 percent and it would be nice to catch up on that for county employees.
“That’s one of the first things we’d do,” he said.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.