Lincoln sets village budget for 2014-15 fiscal year

LINCOLN – Lincoln Village Council approved a $195,066 budget for its new fiscal year, which begins April 1. The new budget has an increase of about $7,000 over the previous year.

The budget anticipates an additional $8,000 in revenues from the current tax levy and $5,000 in additional taxes from the state, village Secretary Linda Somers said. But those increases will go toward offsetting other anticipated reductions in miscellaneous receipts and interest.

Among other expenses, the trustees had to budget $3,500 for professional services, because the village is due for a full blown audit, Somers said.

The village has salted away $100,000, which will go toward $113,700 in roadway and public works projects, Somers said.

Elmer’s Crane and Dozer Inc., was awarded a $97,500 contract to resurface Main Street from Second Street to Barlow Road later this year. Routine maintenance is expected to cost $14,800, and winter road maintenance $8,800. The sewer fund is $11,734, which was the same as the previous year.

Trustee Mary Kossa said property taxes will be adequate to fund the 2014-15 budget, and expects $25,000 from the state. The village also receives $44,000 to provide firefighting and emergency medical response services.

Outstanding property taxes are relatively low compared to previous years, with only $11,000 past due at present, Kossa said.

Bills for February were high because of heating and fuel costs, despite conservation efforts. An insurance premium also was due, Kossa said.

Troy Somers, head of the Alcona County Equalization Department, was on hand as the trustees discussed possible fees they hope to charge for land use, moving or demolition of a structure, signs and other activities detailed in their new zoning ordinance.

The board studied fees charged by the City of Harrisville, going through each item, then deciding whether to adopt or change each. A land use permit for a $5,000 shed would cost $40; a $75,000 home would cost $130, with the largest structures capped at $1,000.

A sign, fence, patio or deck would be $25 for land use permits, and failure to obtain the proper permit would result in a penalty of $300 a day.

However, zoning hasn’t been enforced in a long time and it will take a while for people to learn about the new ordinances and fees, trustees said.

“We need to print these and make sure people are aware of it,” Trustee Bonny Gauthier said.

In other business:

  • Jordan looked at the possibility of buying and installing a generator at the Lincoln senior center or the Baptist church so one of the buildings could be turned into an emergency shelter if necessary. A generator for the senior center would cost around $27,000, but the building has accessibility issues. A generator for the church would be around $7,000 and the building has showers. Both buildings have full kitchens and room for cots. The improvement would be paid for by federal grants.
  • an Alpena sanitation company installed new transducers in the village system and it is now working well, Jordan said. The cost was around $2,000. Many of the problems in the past were caused by people unqualified to work on the system, he said. So the village needs to find someone who can do the work.
  • Fire Chief Leroy Hall said Grayling is experimenting with sending alerts over Smartphones of first responders instead of using pagers, because reception is better. The changeover could save money. Otherwise, calls in the village’s jurisdiction were down. He is offering free rides in the fire trucks to keep vehicle and equipment batteries charged.
  • the village will hold its Easter egg hunt and festivities April 19.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at blehndorff@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.