By Jessica Mathews/

The Howell City Council has adopted the budget for the coming fiscal year.

The 2020/2021 budget totals $26.4 (m) million. The fund balance totals $1.69 (m) million and the general fund includes some capital expenditures as part of improvements and maintenance at various city facilities. A memo states the budget will continue to keep planned projects moving forward and allows for some flexibility during the transition to a new city manager.

During Monday night’s virtual meeting, Mayor Nick Proctor described it as a maintenance budget that sustains the current level of services. He said there will be no rehabilitation of roads other than routine maintenance such as crack sealing or occasionally filling potholes. Proctor said after the Headlee Override turned down by voters, Council decided that no road work would be done. He said there are some roads that desperately need the work but essentially the City doesn’t have the money to do it. Proctor noted going forward, Council agreed not to do any road work unless it’s 80% grant funded. Council also agreed to retain a 20% fund balance.

Other projects in the budget include funding for the East Clinton and North National Reconstruction Project. The multi-year project was designed in the previous fiscal year and will be constructed over the 2021 season. 50% of the project will be completed in this fiscal year and the City received approximately $2 (m) million in grant funding. The budget does include a tentative water and sewer fee increase of 5% but staff is awaiting the completion of the rate study review by consultants so the increase is subject to change. The budget also reflects a slight increase in state revenue sharing of 1.9% - for a total of $974,639. However, a memo states that number is likely to change as everyone continues to come out of the COVID-19 shutdown. No public comments were made during the budget public hearing.