The Portage City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Budget on May 22, 2018. The budget totals $76,732,345 for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. The budget includes all activities undertaken by Portage during that period, to include the General Fund, Water and Sewer, as well as Capital Improvements. Additional, separate funds include the Curbside recycling Fund, Leaf Pickup Spring Cleanup Fund, Community Development Block Grant Fund (financed by the federal government) Cable Television Fund (financed by cable franchise fees), Cemetery Fund and the West Lake Weed Management Fund.
The General Fund in the amount of $26,463,817 is the largest portion of the total City of Portage Budget of $76,732,345 – or 35% of the total budget. The General Fund is made up of the Police and Fire divisions, Public Services, Parks & Recreation and the City Administration.
The City of Portage Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 is large and complex, and difficult to summarize; however, the following are the highlights of the budget:
- Reducing debt is a priority of the City Council. In 2008, the city’s total debt was more than $105 million. The Fiscal Year 2018-2019 begins with a total debt level of $58.13 million, a reduction of 45% since 2008.
- The city has also prioritized capital improvement funding. An additional $6.2 million will be invested in road reconstruction projects, water and sewer improvements and parks/trail improvements, a 42% increase.
- Continuing retirement of water and sewer bond repayment obligations resulted in reductions in the Water (-7%) and Sewer (-12%) funds.
- The increase to the General Fund is less than 4%, and includes funding for the city’s support of the Kalamazoo County Consolidated Dispatch Authority.
The creation of the City of Portage 2018-2019 Budget was a monumental task. Department heads worked hard to present budgets that were reasonable, effective and met the goals of the Council. Without the dedication and expertise of Finance Director, Bill Furry and Deputy Finance Director, Lauren VanderVeen, the budget would not be possible.
The Portage City Council devoted more than ten hours in public meetings to hear presentations from the various department heads about the proposed activities of the funds associated within their area of responsibilities. It was clear that debt reduction, debt avoidance, cost control and capital improvement investment will all remain top priorities of the Portage City Council.
Finally, the Portage City Council also approved a millage reduction of .1000 for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 to 10.8205. Although a slight decrease, the move – saving the average Portage taxpayer $8.11 annually – is a step in the right direction!
View the complete fiscal year 2018-2019 City of Portage budget.