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Message from the County Administrator
On November 25th, residents of the city and county gathered to kick off the holiday season with the 5th annual tree lighting. This great public/private partnership, coordinated by Jim Berryman, pulls together resources and organization from many local businesses to create this community event. Thanks to H.L. Green Machine Moving, Ropes and Rigging Tree Service, County National Bank, Schaedler Enterprises, PlaneWave, and Consumers Energy for providing the funding, equipment and skilled workers necessary to make this happen. The contributions of the City of Adrian Parks and Forestry department and the County Buildings and Grounds crew are also key to a successful program. The Lenawee County Board of Commissioners, led by Chair Dave Stimpson, is very pleased to collaborate with Mayor Angie Sword-Heath and the Adrian City Commission and host this event.
At the November 12th Personnel/Ways and Means Committee meeting, the committee reviewed and recommended the Capital Improvement Plan for the next five year period. This plan lays out needs and spending priorities for County facilities and equipment on a rolling five-year basis. Identifying the infrastructure needs of the County and planning for expenses enables the commission to meet their fiduciary and facility oversight obligations.
The Board of Commissioners approved the 2020 General Appropriation Act, including setting millage rates and approving the 2020 budgets, at their November board meeting. The 2020 spending plan provides for nearly 31 million dollars in General Fund activities to meet the needs Lenawee County residents and the obligations of County government. The act also approves an additional 44 million in non-general funds that provide programs and services to county residents.
Along with the budget and capital improvement documents, the commission approved the levy of property taxes by the various taxing authorities in the county with the approval of the 2019 Apportionment Report. The report, prepared and presented by Equalization Director Marchelle DeLong, details the taxable valuations and levy rates allowable in each taxing authority in the county. Operations such as schools, townships, libraries, cities and villages rely, in part, on revenue from the property taxes authorized by approval of the Apportionment Report.
Clinton Brugger, with the Community Action Agency, presented information on the process and importance of the 2020 Census. The Decennial Census is the population count required by the US Constitution every ten years. Mr. Brugger explained how the census count not only determines the population for proportioning representation but also for federal and state funding. Many programs and services funded by federal and state dollars rely on an accurate census count to distribute money. This year, for the first time, the initial census count is being conducted online and Mr. Brugger highlighted the challenges and concerns presented by this change in process. The basic message is: An accurate count is very important to our county and we should all be working together to make the count successful.
The holiday season is upon us and even though it can at times be stressful, it is also an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. On behalf of the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners and the employees of the County, I want to wish all Lenawee County residents a safe, happy, and enriching holiday season. So Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to all.
Martin D. MarshallLenawee County Administrator