By Kelsey Parkinson
Williamston Post staff writer
While most members of the board voted to approve the budget at the Williamstown Township Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, March 12, two members did not: trustees Rod Imhoff and Rick Williams.
The 2014-15 proposed budget totaled $1,229,559, as of Feb. 28. This is down from $1,357,475 from the 2013-14 budget.
At the meeting, Imhoff said he had an issue with the number of fudge factors in the budget.
“Every year we do not have a deficit, yet we show a deficit in our budget,” Imhoff said.
“We try to budget close to what we think we need,” township Supervisor Mickey Martin said. “It looked to Rod that we had too much of a buffer in – but the fact of the matter is he didn’t specify. He felt our buffer was too large. The point of the budget is that whatever we don’t use goes right back into the general fund. It doesn’t roll over.”
Williams also voted against the budget, however he said that they are “not losing money, the money is still there.”
Police special assessment
The board also passed the police special assessment that was approved in 2010. Williamstown Twp. contracts with Meridian Township for police services.
“We pass the police assessment every March so it can be levied in December taxes,” Martin said. “We set it up so in November, if there’s somebody whose house burned down, there is no assessment. Or if there was a new house built, they have the special assessment.”
It costs $110 for residential police protection, $185 for commercial businesses.
“We started at $150, and we’ve been able to reduce it because we fortunately don’t have much crime here,” Martin said. “It’s the best deal.”
Controlled burn coming
Also discussed at the meeting was the upcoming prairie burn that takes place at 132 Acre Park. This involves burning the entire field to help rid of invasive species to let natural plants have the chance to grow, according to Martin.
“About 60 acres is open prairie and we have some trails in there,” Martin said. “It’s so when we seed, we can seed in native plants. It’s an amazing thing if you’ve never seen it. The prairie burn is scheduled for every 3 years to help rid of old weeds.”
The Williamston Township website is also received a re-design, which was “long-overdue” according to trustee Janet Eyster.
“More and more people are doing everything online,” Martin said. “Instead of coming in here and filling out a form, we’re making our forms available on our website. They’ll be able to, say, rent and pay for a hall at 10 p.m. at night in case they forgot to do so.”