By Tom Tolen /

The Brighton City Council unanimously adopted the 2023-24 fiscal year budget at its regular meeting last week. The new fiscal year begins on July 1st. Total city spending for the coming fiscal year - including services such as water and sewer, police, the Dept.of Public Works, major and local streets, the Downtown Development Authority and other expenses - is set at $27.9 million, minus depreciation.

As part of the overall budget, the general fund budget for the coming year is $11.6 million. The fund balance at the end of the current fiscal year is projected at $3.5 million. However, that is expected to go down in the coming year with the city's fund equity by June 30th of next year projected at roughly $2.4 million.

City Manager Gretchen Gomolka says that since projections indicated the fund balance by the end of the current year would be higher than expected, the decision was made to increase expenditures in the coming year more than originally envisioned. That will make the fund equity approximately 20% of operating expenses. However, Gomolka said, in her words, “The additional use of the fund balance is for items that the existing fund balance had already been earmarked for, including additional funding for capital needs and pension funding.”

The millage rate for city taxpayers in the coming year has been set at 17.6483 mills. It marks the second year in a row that the city will not be required to enact a Headlee rollback. For the average city property home owner - with a taxable value on their property of $100,000, this translates into a city tax bill of $1,765.

The 17-plus total mills includes a 14.8 mill operating millage, 0.37 for law enforcement and public safety, a street millage of 2.42 mills and an economic development millage of 0.087 mills. This summer's tax bills will include these amounts and will be due on Aug. 15th, while penalties will be assessed to those who are delinquent in paying their tax bills.

The new budget will include a slight increase in trash pickup fees, which will go from the current $17.77 to $18.48 per month, a modest increase of 71 cents a month. Gomolka notes that this is billed every other month and is included on the property owner's utility bills for a total of $36.96 over the two-month period.