City Eyes 1 Day Fireworks
Considers Raising Parking Fines from $5 to $25
Host of Financial Issues Confront Commission as Public Input Sessions Loom
January 7, 2007
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By: Dave Rogers
Parking ticket fees in Bay City might increase from $5 to $25.
City commissioners may start off 2007 with a bang Monday night.
City Manager Robert V. Belleman reported that employees have suggested raising parking fines from $5 to $20 or $25 and cutting the fireworks festival from three days to one to slash an estimated $30,000 in police overtime pay.
Financial issues dominate Monday night's meeting agenda, including:
A closed session to review the lawsuit brought by LiquiForce over a canceled contract for sewer lining;
A public hearing on an estimated $198,000 special assessment roll for the Henry Street Sewer Project; and
Amendment to a professional service contract to increase payment by $358,000 to a total of $5.9 million to Hubbell Roth and Clark, Inc., Bloomfield Hills, for wastewater treatment plant improvements.
Providing a ready-made New Year hangover for commissioners is the issue of an estimated $60 million in unfunded pension and health care liabilities revealed last July by Mr. Belleman.
Commissioners discussed the problem in a Dec. 11 finance and policy meeting, with five members backing a 10 percent increase in annual contribution and four backing a 5 percent hike. The manager sought direction from the commission to prepare the proposed 2007-2008 budget.
"A number of commissioners then expressed hesitation to implement scenario B (10% extra contribution) due to the city's current financial constraints," states minutes of the meeting.
Meanwhile, the manager has scheduled Town Hall meetings Jan. 11, 15, 17, 18 and 30 for public input on financial problems "to address how dollars are dedicated to certain services and why certain projects continue (i.e., 11th Street Boulevard, Marina Park Drive extension) in light of financial constraints within the General Fund."
The manager previously announced that Eric Jylha, local broadcaster and community volunteer, would be the moderator for the public sessions.
The meetings will be at 6 p.m. and a business-industry session will be at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 11. Locations have not been set except for the final session Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.
"The presentation will also highlight some of the financial challenges the city is experiencing and how those challenges are impacting our ability to maintain certain service levels," said the manager.###
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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