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Clare City approves $5.2 million budget

Following a Public Hearing, the City of Clare approved a $5,237,008.46 budget for the coming year at Monday’s Commission meeting.

The budget includes $2,194,478.11 in the General Fund with the rest in streets, fire Department, Parks & Recreation, Downtown Development Authority, Sidewalks, LDFA, Brownfield Redevelopment, Drug Forfeiture, Public Safety, Sewer, Water , Data Processing and Mobile Equipment funds.

City Treasurer Steve Kingsbury reported that revenues are up by $32,000 and expenses down by $68,000. In his regular agenda report he said revenue sharing was up from last year.

Along with the 2012-13 budget adoption, the Commission also approved millage rates of Charter: 17.5, Parks – .75 and Streets -.75.

The Parks and Recreation millage is up for renewal this year.

Before  the Council approved them, Kingsbury also went over the changes in fees and rates for the coming year including:

*an increase in solid waste fees to improve the cost of living increases and surcharges assessed by Waste Management;

*an increase in the water/sewer meter replacement fee;

*adding a fee to cover cost recovery;

*amendment of the Land Division fee to $50 per split;

*including an equipment rate schedule for Fire Department emergency responses and to delineate emergency responses for vehicle accidents: Engine at $250 per hour, Aerial Apparatus at $350 per hour, Tender fee at $175 per hour, Grass Rig/Utility Vehicle fee at $125 per hour and Traffic Control at $75 per hour;

*increasing pavilion rental fees for non-residents from $50 to $75;

Increasing water and wastewater lab fees by .50 each;

*increasing burial fees to $200 for under age 1, $350 for over age 1 and adding disinterment fees;

*adding fees for cremation plots at $75 for taxpayers and $75 for non-taxpayers;

*amending language in hydrant water and water turn-on fees;

*decreasing Police Department notary fees from $5 to $1 per document.

In his agenda report, City Manager Ken Hibl said the Planning Commission had approved a site plan for Family Farm and Fleet; that the Michigan Department of Transportation is planning a $3.5 million road improvement project on Business U.S. 10 from Sunset Avenue in Clare to the US-10 interchange next year; and the Scozzari lawsuit is scheduled to begin in Federal Court in Bay City June 19.

Other business Monday included:

*granting a request from Dan and Laurie Shively for a private well for a geothermal system.

*approved proposed changes in zoning ordinances for “house cleaning” purposes changing a stipulation that the Planning Commission approve industrial park signs to City Commission approval and changing the maximum height of security/screening fencing for commercial districts to 12 feet.

*approved a change insurance carriers for life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment and short-term disability insurances to The Standard, an affiliate of the Michigan Employees Retirement System (MERS).

*approved a contractor’s payment for the Waste Water Treatment Plant Project totaling $34,025.25 to J.R. Heineman.

*accepted the donation of 16.5 acres of wetland property adjacent to Pettit Park along the Tobacco River. The property potential is for recreation.