Meridian Township Operating Budget Exceeds over $52 million
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Frank L. Walsh, Meridian Township Manager, recommended a $52,609,000 operating budget for 2021 during the Township Board meeting on Tuesday, September 15th.
Expenditures include: legislative, general government, public safety, public works, health & welfare, community economic development, recreation & culture, capital outlay and debts service.
According to the proposed budget, 61% of the revenue to fund expenditures will come from taxes and fees. The other 39% in revenue will come from a combination of Licenses & Permits, Intergovernmental, Charges For Services, Interest, and Other Revenues.
Expansions total $23.3 million while revenue total $22.6 million. The net loss in this budget is over $687,000. This deficit raises concerns if it will roll over into 2022. Frank L. Walsh, Meridian Township Manager explains that there is $945,000 of one time expenses for the Meridian Redevelopment Fund, expanding solar, adding new drinking fountains, LED lights and door replacements. The money for these projects are expected to be used this year eliminating debt that would continue into 2022.
The three main liability debts in the Meridian Township's brand standards are: the Township pension fund, retiree health care fund and Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) pension. The Township pension fund and the retiree health care fund have decreased by almost half since 2014. Previous budgets have doubled the amount of money they are required to allocate to these funds.
“The 2021 Draft Budget maintains our promise to voters in terms of earmarking an additional Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) annual payment of $1,500,000,” according to the 2021 draft budget. MERS requires a minimum $2.8 million in funding but the 2021 budget proposes that the township pay $4.7 million. As a result of the $1.9 million increase it is projected that in 10 years MERS is 100% funded.
In 2017 voters were promised 41 sworn Police Officers, 32 Paramedic/Firefighters, additional funding for a new Ladder Truck and an additional annual $1,500,000 contribution to MERS for police and fire pension. The 2021 budget maintains or exceeds these promises.
There will be a special board meeting on Tuesday, September 22 for final adaptations of the budget.