By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jan. 8, Gregory Dill, Washtenaw County Administrator, attended the Manchester Township’s first meeting of the year to discuss what is going on at the county level.
“We want to improve the connectivity in all areas of the county,” said Dill. “Both east and west of US-23. I know there’s been a lot of dialogue at the board level about what goes on east of US-23. I want you to know that west of US-23 is not forgotten and it is in our long-range plans.”
Dill touched on the county’s first commissioner meeting on Jan. 9, which will seat four new commissioners. One of them will be Shannon Beeman, who will be representing the village and township of Manchester in the third district.
“She will take her seat tomorrow,” said Dill. “I exchanged texts with her earlier today, she’s very excited to provide leadership to this part of the county.”
Dill also touched on the fiscal perspective of the county heading into 2019.
“The county is in excellent shape,” said Dill. “We just passed our quadrennial budget in November, four-year budget, balanced for the entirety of those four years. We have a contribution to fund balance for this fiscal year and a planned use of fund balance for next year. There are planned contributions in the two years that follow as well. Our fund balance sits at 30 percent of our general fund budget, just over $28 million. We have a $110 million general fund budget. In total, the county runs about a half a billion-dollar operation including all of our assets that we insure. We went to Chicago in October to affirm our triple A bond rating and we are 1 of 3 counties in state to have triple A bond rating.”
Dill referenced the millage passed in November pertaining to police and community mental health services. He told the board that he felt the state has let citizens down in both of those areas. This year, a $10 million deficit is projected with the reduction of Medicaid and state funding, which he said the county will begin work to cut that down beginning next week.
Police coverage has been a concern in Manchester, Dill told the board that he’s talked with Township Chair Gene DeRosset about coverage in the area.
“That’s something on (sheriff) Clayton’s to do list,” said Dill. “As we move into 2019 and beyond. I would expect an update from the sheriff’s office sometime in the first quarter of this year and into the second quarter of 2019.”
At the end of his presentation, Dill told attendees of a conversation slated to begin in Feb. about a new master plan for the county. One was authored in the 90s but hasn’t been updated since.
“As you might imagine, its outdated,” said Dill. “Some of the things in that plan had to do with manufacturing and mobility challenges that aren’t appropriate for today. One of the key components of that is mobility, not just in and out of major cities or urban core. North, south, east and west. The I-94 corridor as I like to talk about and US-23 corridor. Manchester is an important part of that.
DeRosset and Dill thanked board member Lisa Moutinho for helping get Dill out to the townships meeting.