The Charlotte City Council did not reach a majority decision Monday, April 28 as to whether or not to place a 2.35 millage proposal on the August primary ballot. Discussion of the proposal will continue at the council’s May 12 meeting.

City Manager Gregg Guetschow said the city received information that Eaton County is looking at a potential countywide millage for street repairs, though details are still being worked out. Guetschow said he was certain the county would not meet the deadline to have any proposal on the August ballot, which makes the Charlotte City Council likely to approve placing the proposed 2.35 mill increase for five years before the voters.

“We agreed we could wait one more council meeting before making a decision,” said Charlotte Mayor Carrie Burch.

Burch said she feels it is in the best interest of the city to move forward with its own proposal. Not all council members were comfortable doing so April 28 in light of the new information from the county. Burch said she feels it is important for the citizens of Charlotte to address street conditions within the city rather than leaving it up to the county.

Guetschow said he feels confident the council will move forward with the proposal at its next meeting.

“It is my sense of the council at this point that they will vote to put an issue before the voters in August,” Guetschow said.

Details of the proposal have not been finalized, Guetschow said, but the 2.35 mills would give the city the targeted amount of $500,000 per year for street maintenance. He said the money would be combined with other available funds to do as much preventative maintenance on Charlotte’s streets as possible.

“We are looking at a few major reconstruction efforts, but we’re really looking at a combination of efforts to keep our streets from deteriorating anymore,” Guetschow said.

The proposed city budget does not include any significant funding for street maintenance. It does, however project a slight revenue surplus for the first time in a number of years.

“The budget we’ve presented, for the first time since I’ve been here, is balanced without drawing on reserves,” Guetschow said. “Our resources are being strained in order to get done, but we are living within our means. The one thing we haven’t found out how to do is fund streets. But, we were not funding those before. We weren’t funding parking lots before, but we’re doing that now.”

Guetschow said the city has cut approximately $468,000 from its budget over the past five years. The council will continue to look at further cuts to the proposed budget during a public hearing on May 12. Guetschow said he feels further cuts to the budget at this point are unnecessary.

“We’ve done exactly what I had in mind to do, which is to create a very stable budget picture, even with cuts at the state level,” he said. “We are in a position where we are doing all the things we should be doing, funding what we should be, aside from streets.”