Discussion on New Development and the 2017 Budget at Recent Township Board Meeting

Discussion on New Development and the 
2017 Budget at Recent Township Board 

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Township Board held a meeting on September 6 where they discussed the 2017 budget and the brownfield request for Okemos Pointe, among other things.

The 35 million dollar budget for 2017 was formally presented by Township Manager, Frank Walsh. The millage rate will remain the same, whereas the property tax and general fund property tax revenue are expected to increase.

Walsh discussed some of the accomplishments that have been made within the past four years while also mentioning some major hurdles the Township has yet to overcome.

Among these hurdles, the issues regarding pensions were a topic of discussion among the Board and the public. "You can't fix the problem until you find out what caused it," said Jeff Nielson, a local resident and business owner.

In 2013, the contribution to MERS beyond required amount was $0. This seems to be where the issues with pension began.

However, Trustee Scales tried to do some research to find out why the issue started and came up short. He asked a number of questions at the meeting regarding the reasoning behind the $0 contributed.

The Township is working to find a solution to this problem.
In 2016, $1 million was contributed to MERS.

There will be more discussion on the budget, along with the opportunity to ask questions at the September 20 meeting.

The brownfield request for Okemos Pointe was discussed. The Board is looking to see a more concrete budget that will be needed for the project before making a decision. This development will continue to be discussed at future meetings.

The Board also appointed Donna Rose as the CATA Board of Directors representative. It was a 4 to 2 vote.

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