Few major purchases of equipment or vehicles are planned in the 2013 budget for Lake Township but a grant the township received to purchase radios for the fire department may allow for the early retirement of debt incurred to buy a truck for the department.
The township’s appropriations for the year include a general fund budget of $1.13 million. Total appropriations, which were approved by the township trustees at their last meeting, are $4.79 million.
Mark Hummer, township police chief and administrator, described the budget as “status quo an
d hoping the economy gets better.”
The township’s share – approximately $260,000 – of a $487,358 communication grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is, however, giving the trustees some flexibility in this year’s budget, freeing up about $200,000 in local revenues to pay off a loan for a 2007 fire truck.
Vicki Schwamberger, township fiscal officer, said the early debt retirement will save the township about $50,000 in interest costs.
The Northwood Fire Department and Allen-Clay Joint Fire District are receiving about $144,000 and $81,000 respectively from the grant, which is being used to purchase 800 megahertz system radios.
The budget for the police department was set at $1.5 million, including $90,000 earmarked for a vehicle, radios, and other equipment.
Chief Hummer said he also requested the department’s budget for fuel costs and vehicle maintenance be increased this year.
He said the department’s fleet of Chevy Tahoes that were purchased used from Michigan State University are nearing the end of their service.
Major planned expenses for the road department include $35,000 for the purchase of a used patching machine and $60,000 for road projects done by bid contracts.
Melanie Bowen, a township trustee, said the department plans to advertise for contract bids to resurface Isch and Wagner roads this year – a project that began last year.
The purchase of the patching machine may be put on hold if a used machine can’t be found for the budgeted amount, she said, adding the trustees are concerned local revenue collections will continue to reflect a slow economy.
“It’s a wish list,” Bowen said of the appropriations. “We’ll have a better idea when we get the second half property taxes in July.”
The road department is also budgeting $30,000 to purchase road salt.