After Third Quarter of 2011, Muskegon Heights Appears To Be Under Budget

Andrew Trzaska | October 11, 2011

Thanks in part to a spending freeze, it appears the City of Muskegon Heights may come in under budget this year.

Budget-to-actual expense documents obtained this week from the city indicate that three quarters of the way through the city’s fiscal year, the city’s expenses are only at approximately 66.3% of the year’s budget, below the expected 75% benchmark

Breaking down expenses by line item or department shows a wide range of amounts spent.  Some areas of the budget are way under budget, including the parks, motor pool, library, data processing and the Office of the Mayor.  Each is below 50% of their budget at this time.

Some areas, however, are either nearing or beyond their budgeted costs for the year.  The city’s personnel budget is over budget at this time, and city attorney costs are at 91% of budget at this time.

A source from the Muskegon Heights Office of the Treasurer indicated these two costs were ahead of budget because of recent arbitration with the police department.

The Planning & Community Development office is also over budget due to payroll expenses, yet some of those costs have been offset by $2,730 in revenues beyond what the budget planned to receive.

Other areas of interest in the end-of-September numbers included the newly upgraded Mona Lake Park boat launch, which has already made more than expected for the year.  The city planned on making $8,000 off the ramp this fiscal year, but it has already earned the city $8,689.

The net result of being about 9% behind projected budget at this time is partially attributed to spending freezes instituted on many departments in the city government.

City Manager Natasha Henderson noted that this report gives the city and the public its first good sense at where the numbers fall:

“This is a point in the year when a lot of revenues and expenses are mostly accounted for.”

Final numbers for the 2011 fiscal year will be available in early 2012.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst