MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - For another consecutive year Meridian Township's budget is back in the black.
While other neighboring municipalities in the state continue to struggle to balance their budgets, Meridian Township has balanced the budget for the coming fiscal year despite a continuing decline in taxable property.
Finance Director Diana Hasse said the township stayed ahead of the curve by reducing staff through attrition beginning five years ago. Minimizing capital costs along with a lack of wage increases for employees also helped.
"We've tried to look forward and tried not to put our legacy costs on future generations," Hasse said. "We really have a made it a priority to operate within those constraints."
Township Manager Gerald Richards said technology continues to be an integral part of the budget, especially with the increased role technology plays in maintaining the same services despite a 25% reduction in staffing over the past five years.
Richards also said residents should expect rate increases of around ten percent for water and sewage services due to a decline in usage.
"There's a certain amount of fixed costs involved in providing that service, so we're going to have to have some fairly substantial rate increases in order to keep up the system," Richards said.
"But we also know it's sort of a catch-22 because as you increase rates people use less, so it is a balancing act."
A major area of debate and interest in the township, the replacement for the Central Fire Station, does not appear on this year's budget because the issue will on the ballot this November for residents to vote on.
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - While other neighboring municipalities in the state continue to struggle to balance their budgets, Meridian Township has balanced the budget for the coming fiscal year despite a continuing decline in taxable property.