New city budget includes raises, slightly higher water & sewer rates

The City of Alpena rolled out a preliminary 2021-22 general fund budget to the municipal council Monday night.

The budget includes revenues of approximately $10.5 million and expenses of $10.7 million for an estimated deficit of nearly $198,000. However, city clerk, treasurer and finance director Anna Soik pointed out that the shortfall is intentional to allow the fund balance to be spent down so it is not as far above a cap set by policy.

The general fund balance would remain above $3 million at the end of the fiscal year at 27% of expenses, down from 33%.

The proposed budget calls for a combined increase of 2.28% in water and sewer rates, down from one year ago. It also includes raises for all contract employees and a 2% increase for all administrators including the city manager.

Soik said the new budget “reflects the continued effort to maintain as many services as possible and accomplish some capital projects in an environment of decreasing revenue and increasing operating and employee benefit costs.”

A public hearing will be held before the budget is formally adopted by the municipal council on Monday, May 17, at which time residents can comment on the proposal, which is on display in the clerk’s office and available on the city’s website.

The city’s fiscal year ends June 30 and the new year begins July 1.