Houghton dips into its cash to balance budget

HOUGHTON — The Houghton City Council approved a $12.7 million budget for the coming fiscal year at its meeting Wednesday.

At $3.7 million, the general fund budget is a more than 5 percent increase over last year reflecting the council’s desire to spend down some of the city’s cash reserves.

At a budget hearing in April, City Manager Eric Waara said the city’s fund equity stood at about $6.7 million, of which about $1.7 million was available for spending.

The city also approved its five-year capital improvement plan. Items include the $4 million reconstruction of Montezuma Avenue in 2022-23, the $400,000 connection of the Nara Nature Park and Waterfront Trail with a bridge or tunnel at U.S. 41 in 2020-21 and $350,000 for Mattila Square improvements in 2018-19.

The city’s tax rate of 15 mills remained the same as it has for several years.

There was no public comment at either hearing.