Budget items add to deficit

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The city’s budget now reflects its actual expenditures for Fire, Police and Recreation departments, but those changes push the city deeper into the red.

Councilors voted Tuesday to approve budget amendments to those three departments, for which they had budgeted little or nothing before plans to outsource the departments fell through.

Increases in budgets for the Police Department increase the deficit by $164,000. The Fire Department budget was increased by more than $84,000 for the last month.

Councilors had budgeted nothing in salary and fringes and $2.2 million in “contractual services” for those departments in the hopes that they could outsource them to another city, but by the deadline of July 1, no city had accepted their proposal.

The city also added $32,920 to the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget for the last month, to reflect the fact that they had been spending to keep the building running without allocating any money to do so. Before the start of the July 1 fiscal year, the city had planned to outsource the running of the building to nonprofit The Senior Alliance at no cost to the city but with most of its programs intact, but the agency backed out of the plan.

The new items increase the projected $4 million shortfall in the current fiscal year by $333,000 a month, Financial Director Carl Johnson of Plante and Moran said. The city’s cumulative deficit is $6 million.

At a special meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, councilors plan to introduce a deficit elimination plan, which was mentioned in their Treasury Review Team’s letter to Gov. Rick Snyder, and amend their budget to reflect plans for the rest of the year when it comes to the recreation center. Councilors have made no announcement yet about whether they plan to completely close it.