Lake Linden shores up street budgets with transfer of funds

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Downtown Lake Linden as seen Sunday. The village is expected to move about $20,000 from the General Fund to the Major Street Fund, depending on how the rest of winter goes, Clerk Bob Poirier said.

LAKE LINDEN — Lake Linden may move about $20,000 from its General Fund to fill a deficit in the Major Street Fund.

A projection for the 2019 fiscal year showed the major street fund with a net income of $40,000. But that figure is deceptive, said Clerk Bob Poirier. It includes $55,082 of Federal Emergency Management Agency money to reimburse the village for work to repair a washout on Second Street after the June 16 flood. However, that will be used to balance the budget for the prior fiscal year.

The village also had an existing deficit of $7,400 in the Major Street Fund from the previous fiscal year, for which the village had to submit a deficit reduction plan to the state, Poirier said.

“If you take the $40,000 it looks like we’re in the black and subtract the $62,000, we’re actually for the year $22,000 in the red in major streets,” he said.

As of Thursday, the village had $177,879 in the general fund, more than typical for this time of year, Poirier said. A large factor was an increase in equipment rentals moving into the general fund from the street funds.

“We had increased the equipment (rental) rates by 10 percent just so we could do that,” Poirier said. “In the general fund it’s a lot more discretionary spending than in the street funds.”

He estimated the General Fund would need to reimburse the Major Street Fund about $20,000, provided that winter is mostly over.

The village will also see more money from its annual Act 51 snowfall disbursement from the Michigan Department of Transportation this year.

The village received $64,500 from the annual disbursement this month, compared to $51,000 last year, Poirier said at Thursday’s council meeting.

“That was a pleasant surprise,” he said. “We needed that boost in the street funds.”

The street funds had been hit hard this year, not just due to the heavy winter, but because of other work from the floods, Poirier said.