The Howell City Council is hosting an upcoming budget work session in the New Year.

The city’s fiscal forecast is described as "gloomy". 2018 was a tough year for the city, which is grappling with a structural deficit that officials attribute to a number of factors including a broken state fiscal model. Voters also turned down a proposed Headlee Override request in November that would have generated funds for roads, infrastructure and to maintain city services. Following that defeat, Council members have said some tough decisions lie ahead. Howell City Manager Shea Charles tells WHMI they’re heading into the annual budget process with a work session this January. He says it’s an opportunity to get together as kind of follow-up to a November work session with potential reductions in the budget for the next fiscal year, as well as laying out a longer term plan to address projected deficits.

The earlier consensus from Council was to develop potential cuts totaling $150, 000 to $250,000 but perhaps more. Council has also set some targets that future infrastructure projects should only be considered if the majority is grant funded. Council members have also expressed that they don’t want to take away city services but “the reality is something’s got to give.” The date for the budget work session is pending. It was initially set for January 21st but needs to be moved because that is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (JM)