Happy Independence Day, everyone! I hope you had a happy and healthy July 4th weekend.
I apologize for the lateness of this blog, but I couldn’t get it out before the holiday. And with the County Commission going into our summer schedule, I figure I can spread the blogs out a bit.
Last week, the Board of Commissioners meeting was mostly non-controversial. As I reported last time, there were some objections to the Treasurer’s office utilizing the County’s option to capture tax foreclosed properties. As I mentioned, the way it works is that the county captures the properties in tax foreclosure. Some of the properties are auctioned off for minimum bid at an auction, and some are bundled together and attempted to be sold (although most are not). In the end, the County is responsible for all of these properties. The Republicans voted against the resolution, presumably because they don’t like the Land Bank having as many properties as it does. They did not say, though, what they would like done with these properties. Sitting vacant creates blight for the community, lower property values, and crime. Auctioning them off for the lowest bid usually results in speculation and people purchasing properties that they can’t afford to clean up or don’t plan to. Rehabilitating the properties by the Land Bank or by bidders who want to pay off the tax liens is the best possible situation. I was happy to vote for the resolution, and it passed 12-4.
Otherwise, there were no controversial resolutions. We passed one resolution authorizing funding for two temporary animal control positions. We have been woefully short-staffed in animal control, and have been hearing several complaints as a result. We now have two positions that are empty as a result of staff on leave time, and it was critical for those positions to be staffed for the summer (the busiest time of the year). As such, we unanimously approved a resolution approving funding of two temporary positions including a clerk/dispatcher and an animal control licensing officer from July through October. We are expecting current revenues to pay for this - $5,477 from the Animal Care Fund Account and $15,000 in unexpected increased dog licensing revenue. This will cover the $20,477 for forty hours each week during this time span. I am sorry that we cannot do more to help animal control, but as everyone knoe we have a budget deficit and all departments are making do with smaller budgets as a result of cuts!
We also approved a resolution merging two day treatment programs at the Circuit Court. We merged the Crossroads program and the Ingham Academy. This will result in Ingham County now having a vocational piece and a high school diploma for all of the youth in day treatment. It also saves about $153,000 from the county general fund and will allow for new equipment to be provided to the merged Ingham Academy program. All in all, this is a win-win for the county budget and for the yhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifouth that are being helped by these programs!
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Well, that’s all for this week!