(BROWN CITY) -- The Brown City Council adopted the 2014-2015 budget during last week's council meeting. Council members also approved the city's millage rate of 16.8733-mills and the park millage rate of 1.25-mills. There were no questions or comments on the budget during the public hearing at the start of the meeting. City Manager Clint Holmes's semi-annual evaluation was presented. He received a 94% rating from the council.
During union negotiations, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 stated that they would agree to a new 3-year contract that included a bonus this year in lieu of a pay increase pending the city agrees to new rates for healthcare benefits, which average about $19/month, a 50-cent an hour pay increase for DPW employees, and a 25-cent an hour increase for the DPW Foreman beginning in January 2015. The council did not accept those terms and would like negotiations to continue. Council members are looking at a 1-year contract, which would be looked at again in March 2015 and agreed to the healthcare benefits and one week bonus pay.
In other business, the council was updated on the issue of snow removal and road salt funding. Brown City normally orders about 150 tons of road salt each year through the State of Michigan. About 15 tons remains this year. Under the special appropriation by the Michigan Legislature, Brown City is set to receive about $5,900 to subsidize the costs of snow removal and pot hole repair. Cost to date for snow removal is over $6,800. Salt for next year has already been ordered and the DPW is doing pothole repairs using cold patch at this time.