Proposed budget reflects growth, keeps millage steady

Public hearing on the proposed budget is Wednesday, March 13, at 6 p.m.
The Laketown Township Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. Front from left: Treasurer Jim Johnson and Supervisor Linda Howell. Back from left: Trustee Patrick Dietrich, Clerk Amber Davis and Trustee Jim Delaney.

The proposed 2024-2025 Laketown Township budget reflects the continuing growth in the community while maintaining the same operational millage rate of the last three years.

The budget hearing on the proposed budget is 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road. This is the chance for the public to comment on the proposed budget.

A copy of the budget is available for free in the office or here.

Anyone with questions on the budget can call the office at (616) 335-3050 and ask for Manager Al Meshkin or email al@laketowntwp.org.

Budget basics

The 2024-2025 budget projects total revenues of $1,955,485 with total expenditures of $1,950,416.

The top revenue comes from funds including state revenue sharing of $670,000.

Property taxes are expected to bring in $599,000. Property tax revenue has been increasing since 2021-2022 when $468,351 was collected. In 2022-2023, that amount increased to $508,292. For 2023-2024 the amount is expected to be $544,000.

“That really tells the story of growth in Laketown Township,” said Manager Al Meshkin at the Wednesday, March 6, board workshop.

The final budget numbers for the 2023-2024 fiscal year are not yet available. The board is expected to approve the budget amendments at the March 13 meeting.

Laketown Township’s fiscal year is April 1 through March 31.

The township levies 1 mill for general operations. It also collected 2.9756 mills for fire, roads, bike paths and drains.

Expenditures for fiscal year 2024-2025 decreased about $16,400, from $1,966,834 expected for 2023-2024.

Elections spending is increasing by $32,140, from the expected $55,600 for 2023-2024 to $87,740 for 2024-2025.

Graafschap Fire Department’s proposed budget is $1,026,646, an increase from this year’s projected $873,448. Much of the increase is due to paying $160,000 for a chassis for a new fire truck.

Contracted services

The board also discussed township board contracted services, a category of agencies that get funding for services provided to township residents.

The category total is $63,000 including $45,000 to the Friends of the Felt Estate, $5,000 for Evergreen Commons (a place for older adults to live active lives), $2,000 for the Resilience (formerly known as the Center for Women in Transition), $1,500 for Holland fireworks and $1,000 each for 70 Times 7 (restoring the lives of people affected by incarceration), Reach For Recovery (helps recovering addicts), Allegan County Legal Assistance Center (helps with civil cases including divorce and child support) and FellinLove Farm (a family farm for all ages and abilities). Several other organizations are funded at lower levels.

Some board members said the township should not contribute to several of these organizations, calling the payments donations.

“We do not do donations,” said Meshkin. “We do contracted services.” The township pays for services for its residents from these groups.

The board agreed to keep the funding in the budget but will contact the organizations, requiring them to come before the board and discuss their operations and how they benefit residents.