Archived News and Articles
2011-04-12: Annual reports review equalization, building inspection, sheriff and jail operations
Several county department directors presented the Emmet County Board of Commissioners with annual reports Tuesday, April 12, during the board’s monthly Administrative Meeting.
Presenting their reports were Sheriff Peter Wallin, with the sheriff and corrections departments’ annual summary; Lynette Girard, contractual director of the Emmet County Equalization Department; and Brentt Michalek, who shared building construction and inspection information with the board.
The board members will be asked to approve the reports as presented at their regular monthly meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the county building downtown Petoskey. Once approved, the full reports will be available online for download. The complete agenda for Thursday’s meeting will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
Note: A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday regarding the Emmet County Community Health Properties Building Expansion (located on M-119, the location of the health department).
Following are highlights of the reports from the various department directors:
– Sheriff/Corrections: Wallin noted several goals that were met in 2010, including the purchase, via grant funding, of two personal watercrafts and a patrol snowmobile. He also informed the board about several important criminal cases solved by sheriff’s deputies, and pointed to increased efforts to stem prescription drug abuse in Emmet County.
In addition, the Victim Services Unit, created by Sheriff Wallin in 2003, responded to 35 calls and assisted 91 victims during 2010.
In total, the department handled 14,882 calls for service in 2010. The report details response time of officers and also traffic enforcement statistics, among many other areas of information.
For the Corrections Department, the sheriff noted personnel admitted and processed 1,672 inmates, and 1,668 inmates were released from the facility. Of the total population, 1220 were male and 452 were female, and most were in the 18-25 age range. The majority stayed for 2-14 days. The total average daily cost to house an inmate was $46.71.
– Equalization: Girard’s comprehensive report of property values and classifications each year demonstrates how land is used and valued throughout Emmet County. As has been the trend state- and nationwide, both assessed and taxable values in the county saw a decline in the past year. In 2010, the county’s overall assessed value was $3.52 billion; in 2011, it is $3.25 billion, a decrease of 7.55 percent. In 2010, the county’s overall taxable value was $2.74 billion; in 2011, it is $2.65 billion, a decrease of 3.35 percent.
Of the county’s properties, 83 percent is residential, 1.3 percent is agricultural and 11.5 percent is commercial; the rest are industrial, developmental and personal.
She also noted that Emmet County is unique in that 34 percent of properties are homestead (primary residences) and 66 percent are nonhomestead (second properties).
– Building inspections/Construction resources: Michalek’s report focuses on the increase demand for building inspections over the past year, a positive indicator that residential and commercial construction projects are potentially rebounding in the county. In 2010, the total number of permits in all trades increased by 423 permits compared to 2009, from 1,824 to 2,247.
New residential home construction led the way with 118 new residences, which was more than double 2009’s total of 44.
In the past year, inspectors average between 94 and 210 inspections per month. In 2010, 2,247 permits were issued across all trades, compared with 1,824 in 2009. Residential valuation in 2010 came in at $27.4 million, with commercial valuation totaling $23.6 million.
2011-02-04: State of the County report
Emmet County Board of Commissioners' Chairman James Tamlyn was one of four featured speakers Feb. 4, 2011, at the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce's 6th Annual State of the Community event. Nearly 200 guests attended the luncheon at the Odawa Casino in Petoskey.
Various community leaders were asked to speak about and provide reports on different aspects of Emmet County. Tamlyn offered an overview of the county over his last 20 years as a BOC member and he provided some overall statistics about Emmet County.
To read a synopsis of the State of Emmet County, click on the PDF below.
2011-01-04: New Commissioners join board
Three new Commissioners joined the Emmet County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 4, after taking the oath of office administered by Clerk Gail Martin.
Martin opened the special meeting, the board's annual organizational meeting. Meeting times and dates were set for the coming year, and committee appointments were made as well.
Commissioner James Tamlyn was once again elected by the board to serve as Chairman, with Les Atchison continuing on as Vice Chairman.
To view committee assignments for the year, click here.
2011 budget approved
The Emmet County Board of Commissioners approved the 2011 budget on Dec. 9 during its regular monthly meeting, with a clear message to taxpayers: The millage rate will remain the same.
“The Commissioners stated very clearly during the budget planning process that they will not approve raising the millage rate for county taxpayers,” said Lyn Johnson, Emmet County Controller. “They realize the difficult financial times we are in and they’ve told us to work with what we have, which we will do.”
The county could levy as much as 5.6 mills in 2011. The millage rate to be levied, however, is 4.85 mills. The difference amounts to approximately $2 million. “We’ve only levied the full millage two times in the 27 years that I’ve been here as controller,” Johnson added.
In summary, the 2011 General Fund budget is as follows:
General fund total revenue: $19,462,752.
General fund revenue and fund balance: $21,539,799
General fund expenses: $19,456,102
Projected fund balance as of Dec.31, 2011: $2,083,697
In an effort to keep a positive fund balance, the county will execute a $1.72 million transfer to the General Fund from other funds, including the Budget Stabilization Fund, to account for declining property tax revenues and increases in other expenses.
In 2010, property tax revenues dropped about 5 percent, the same decline projected in 2011. Johnson expects it will be at least five to seven years before property tax revenues rebound to 2008 levels.
The biggest annual expenses facing the county come with providing judicial and public safety functions, as well as general government operations.
The 2011 budget does not call for addition or deletion of any programs. Further, non-bargaining unit employees will not receive pay raises. Early retirement incentives have also helped lower costs for the coming year.
The voluminous budget is available for public review in the county building. Copies may be purchased as well, at the rate of 30 cents per page.
To review the fund balances, revenues and expenditures for all county funds, or to view a breakdown of the General Fund, click on the PDFs below.