Council to Discuss Ways to Spend Bulging Fund Balances

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Saline City Council will discuss what to do about bulging bank accounts when it meets Monday night for a work meeting and regular council meeting

The topic for the 6 p.m. work meeting is "reserve fund balance."

A memo from City of Saline Treasurer Mickie Jo Bennett to Saline City Council identifies several large stashes of cash - and several expensive ways to spend it. The letter asks council to review the balances and determine whether they are still appropriate.

Here are the funds:

  • $444,981 of excess fund balance that has accumulated. The city typically spends excess fund balance on retirement obligations.
  • $1,383,538 in assigned legislative changes. This fund was set up as the city prepared to lose personal property tax revenue. The city lost less revenue than expected.
  • $1,028,319 in the Saul Trail loan account. The loan to create the business park has been fully paid back.
  • $100,000 in unfunded liabilities.
  • $493,886 in federal recovery act money expected over the next two years.

On the other side, Bennett noted several ways to spend any excess revenue, including:

  • $1.3 million in compensated absences. When an employee leaves the city, accrued absentee days are often paid in lieu of time off. In all, that cost is north of $1.3 million. The city may begin examining ways to get ahead of this expected expense.
  • Up to $690,000 may be considered for a new vehicle equipment policy to replace and purchase vehicles.
  • $100,000 in surplus payment for the Michigan Employee Retirement System. The plan is 69.6 percent funded. The state considers plans under 60 percent as underfunded.
  • $110,000 for police department body cams.
  • Up to $1.4 million is needed for one-time capital improvements to city facilities over the next three years.
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