Expecting Even Budget; Bath Finds $720,000 Shortfall - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Expecting Even Budget; Bath Finds $720,000 Shortfall

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Bath Township officials in one Clinton County township say they'll have to reconsider some of the projects they hoped to get to this year because of budget concerns.

They were expecting a balanced budget, but face over a half a million dollar hole.

Nick Perreault says Bath township will have to move money around to fill that void, but some are left questioning how they plan to do it.

A balanced budget for 2013 is what Bath Township Supervisor Paula Clark thought she would see.

"Both our interest income and our property tax revenues have gone done, several hundred thousand dollars," Supervisor Clark said.

An exact number has yet to be finalized, but fortunately Clark says over the last few years Bath's put aside close to two million dollars in a fund balance.

"It was done with some intention of protecting our future for our community," Supervisor Clark said.

However, Clark says those in Bath township shouldn't worry, current services won't be affected, they'll use some money from that balance to fill the gap.

"From last night's meeting I saw no indication of cutting or being able to stop spending," said Marie Howe.

Marie Howe lives in Bath township and says she'd like to see a salary freeze and doesn't believe taking money from the fund balance isn't the answer.

Marie says she's happy Bath Township has that fund balance, but says it shouldn't be used to pay that hole, she says that'd be like using her savings for groceries, something she says shouldn't happen.

"The fund balance is to be used for specific things, lowering our taxes, we desperately need sidewalks."

They are changes known as capital improvements, along with street lighting and senior center updates, but the supervisor says those might have to be put on hold.

"We've got a bump in the road and we need to adjust and we're going to."

Only time will tell how much of an adjustment will be needed.

Bath township will review their annual audit over the next few weeks, when they expect to finalize the total amount they'll have to replace from that fund balance.

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