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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April is National "Safe Digging Month"

April is National Safe Digging Month - I am hoping you can help get the message

out to excavators and homeowners to "Call 811 Before Digging - It is a free

service". One way to promote "Call 811" is to have something placed on your

website regarding this or something that would point them to the MISS DIG

website, http://www.missdig.org/. A special "Go Green" MISS DIG t-shirt, will be mailed

to the first five members to join in promoting "Call 811 Before Digging", on

their website.

Any help you can provide to help protect the public and underground utility

lines is appreciated - Remember, Damage Prevention is a shared responsibility.

Thanks for your help - Kathie Fournier, CEO & Executive Director


Here are some fossils found in our area.  Geologists say that these fossils are about 400,000,000 years old! Come visit the Rogers City fossil park. The park is located at the little league fields, also called South Shore Park which is off of Calcite Road next to the Carmeuse Lime and Stone Quarry.  The park has a great Lake Huron beach (sandy) and playground equipment too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How does the City of Rogers City Use Your Tax Dollars?

How does the City of Rogers City Use Your Tax Dollars?

All real and personal property tax dollars paid by residents of the city are placed into the General Fund. The city maintains several funds which record the revenues and expenses of the various activities and services provided to its citizens such as Water Service, Sewer Service, the City Marina, Street Funds and smaller funds. This report highlights only the General Fund; the other funds will be the subject of future reports. Michigan Law requires all other funds be reported separately from the General Fund. The General Fund does contribute to some of these other funds when directed by City Council. The information shown is actual dollars, not budgeted or estimated amounts. The City’s fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th. One mill of taxes currently raises $75,925. As of February 28, 2011 the General Fund revenue was $1,557,256 as shown below.

General Fund Revenue

Real Property Tax = $1,060,546

State Revenue Sharing = $228,774

Personal Property Tax = $125,657

Miscellaneous Revenue = $112,501

School Resource Officer = $29,778

As of February 28, 2011, the General Fund spent $1,175,132 (see chart on the other side) with the following general description of how the dollars were used:

• The City Council spent $13,810 on Council salaries, travel expenses for City business, education and training, Council directed publications, and Board of Review.

• Administration spent $247,101 on salaries, benefits, and other expenses for the attorney, the manager, the clerk/treasurer, the bookkeeper, the assessor, and elections.

• The Police Department spent $373,366 for equipment, supplies and training, plus wages and benefits for the Chief and six officers (including the School resource Officer).

• The Department of Public Works (DPW) spent $306,609 on equipment, supplies, training, wages, and benefits as partial payment for the Director, six full-time, and two seasonal workers. DPW provides services to other activities like water and sewer which pay for services from their own funds. The General Fund does not pay for these services.

• “Other” spending of $234,247 went for engineering, planning and zoning, street light electricity, insurance, retiree healthcare, promotional expenses, and miscellaneous items. City Hall maintains records showing spending in each area.

General Fund Expenses

City Council = $13,810 

Administrative = $247,101 

Police Department = $373,366 

Public Works = $306,609 

Other = $234,247 

As a snap shot, these figures only tell part of the story. The fiscal year began July 1, 2010 and will end June 30, 2011. In the original budget, the city expected General Fund revenues and expenses to balance at the end of the fiscal year at $1,910,943. The City Council adjusts the budgets as revenues and costs change, needed items break, and staff members save money.

The current amended budget is $1,865,868 in revenues and expenses. Unfortunately, revenues may be even lower due to a decline in State Revenue Sharing. Also expenses continue to rise. For example, on April 1, 2011, health care costs to the City will increases 35%, costing the City an unexpected $7,000 per month. This may force the City to cut back further on spending and/or use some of the “Fund Balance,” sometimes called a “rainy day” fund. This fund currently has a balance of $234,294 or 12.5 percent of annual expenses -- within State guidelines of 10-15%.

Discussions at the state level concerning revenue sharing and other funding for communities along with the outcome of current labor negotiations will impact future budget decisions. Loss of tax revenue from decreased real property value will also impact the budget.

One question that is being asked can be summarized as “If the City is struggling with finances, why does it continue to spend money on projects such as a new water tower, improvements to the water and sewer infrastructure, and new street lights, and purchase new equipment?” Most of the funds for these capital projects come from federal and state grants and/or very low interest loans. These are not part of the General Fund, which is where the financial problems are being experienced. These projects are designed to save the City money long term by reducing costs such as repairs and electric consumption, by keeping employees safe, and by improving services to every citizen.

You can access the City’s financial reports and audit at www.rogerscity.com. City Council and Staff will be working on next year’s budget during the next several weeks, first at public workshops and then at Council meetings. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

From time to time, in response to public questions, I'm going to post some FAQs here.  One questions frequently asked is:  “If the City is struggling with finances, why does it continue to spend money on a new water tower, new street lights, and a new Public Works plow truck?”  The answer is that most of the funds used for these items do not come from the General Fund.  These items are funded from special funds and grants.  The State does not allow this special funding to be used to pay for employee wages or benefits, training, utilities, etc.  Also, these projects are designed to improve service to you, save the city money by reducing electric consumption, and keep employees and the public safe. 
There are incidental costs to these projects that come from the General Fund, such as publishing of Public Notices, postage, and staff time to process reports and track the finances.  Therefore, for the past three months, we have imposed a halt to all "new projects."   Of course, City Council can always direct the staff to do a project.  
If you have a question that you would like an answer to, please let me know.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Here is a vacant building in downtown Rogers City, right across from the popular Lighthouse Resturant. This property is available to start a new business. Now is a great time to start a new business. City Hall will help you.  Contact me at 989-734-2191, or email mslown@rogerscity.com

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Man All in Green Was Recently Seen

Thank you Mr. Michael Eustice for bringing some good cheer into our fair City on St. Patrick's Day.

Small Business Capital Access

If ever there was a meeting that fit the need of this community it is: Moving Michigan Forward: Improving Rural Small Business Capital Access to Create New Jobs, Tuesday April 26, 2011 10am-4pm, Reception at 4pm. MSU Kellogg Center, East Lansing.

Co-sponsored by the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development, MSU Office of University Outreach and Engagement, MSU Center for Economic Analysis, Consumers Energy, Economic Development Foundation (Grand Rapids).

If anyone wants to car pool, let me know.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beware of Scams on Facebook

Below, you will find a link to an interesting article:

"Biggest Facebook Security Threats" by Kathy Kristof, published Friday, March 18, 2011

Here is the lead in to the full article:

"Forget those phishing emails that attempt to get your credit card or bank sign-in information. When crooks want to know how to get into your bank account, they post a message on Facebook. These messages appear so innocuous and so appropriate in the Facebook setting that you are likely to not only get conned, but pass on the scam."

For the rest of the story go to:


Rogers City has a Facebook page with over 1,000 "likes" with many active page participants.  Facebook is a fun way to connect with the community, but like anything else, it can be misused.
We want everyone to be safe, when they use our Facebook page, so be alert for scams.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program Needs Volunteers

Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is recruiting volunteers in Northeast Michigan.  The volunteers will be assisting beneficiaries in understanding Medicare options, enrolling in plans, and completing applications for various programs.  MMAP needs additional volunteers to help beneficiaries that need services.

Volunteers must attend an initial six day training program.  Then the volunteers are mentored by other counselors before they work on their own.  The next training session begins May 4, 2011 in Alpena.

This is a great way to help people in need.

If you are interested, please contact Ann Weir at 800-219-2273, ext 231.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Cannibal

Here is a classic image from near the Rogers City Marina.  With Garfield about to be swallowed by a shark, this is a unique bit of "local color" that you will not find anywhere else.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rogers City Library

The Rogers City Library is part of the Presque Isle District Library. The library is a great resource for most anything from free tax information to books, tapes, video, internet access, and educational programming. Visit your library in person or at


Monday, March 14, 2011

Japanese Need Your Help after Quake

The hearts of people in Rogers City go out to the people of Japan. Once mortal enemies, for decades our people have been alllies and friends. If you are able, give to a charity of your choice to help the people harmed by the great quake and its aftermath. Be a blessing and you will be blessed.

Board of Review

Board of Review (BOR) is today 3-9 pm and tomorrow 9am to 3 pm. Bring your property tax questions to City Hall. The BOR is made up of three City Council members. The Assessor, Fred Lindroth, provides technical advice. All actions are documented and become part of the public record.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tree Outlined Against a Beautiful Sky

Thanks go to Terry Doyle for this fantastic picture of the sky over Lake Huron.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

County-Wide Inter-governmental Meeting

Tonight is the first ever Presque Isle County inter-governmental meeting.  The meeting will be held at Bismarck Township Hall at 7:00 pm.  All local government officials in Presque Isle County are invited to attend.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One that Did NOT Get Away

Official DNR reports are in.  Fishing in the Rogers City area is great. With Lake Trout, Salmon, and Steelhead the primary catch, along with Perch and Walleye, gross catch fishing tonnage is up in Northern Lake Huron.  Come check it out.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One

Quarry + shipwrecks + Live Theater + walks on the beach + TNT + Holy Rocks + sailing + deer + dear + bear + bare + neighborhood bars + Lighthouses + trails + icecream + bicycles + fishing + ice fishing + dwarf lake iris + stars + fossils + swimming + foxes + freighters + Art Deco + bike rental + kayak + Odd Fellows + Lions + Kiwanis + Optimists + Zonta + Servicemen and women + Lutheran + Catholic + great people.

Feel free to add to this list.  There are a great many good things here in Rogers City, Presque Isle County, MI, USA, Planet Earth....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Part-time Job Opening

Michigan State University Extension is hiring a part-time, 4-H Program Associate located in Presque Isle County. For more information and to apply for this position, go to: http://www.jobs.msu.edu/. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

City Council Meeting Results

Last night City Council passed a resolution not to acquire 3 acres of vacant land near the marina.  Other action included authorizing an additional $40,000 from designated funds to purchase new water meters to replace defective meters and approval of a parcel division for Lakeview property. Also, the Council directed the Attorney to draft papers to convey Hilltop Manor property to the Rogers City Housing Commission.  They approved a request for the Little League Parade.  Finally, the City Council conducted an executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Designing Healthy Livable Communities Conference in Lansing

The Michigan Department of Community Health is sponsoring a two day conference June 6 and 7, 2011: Designing Healthy Livable Communities. Majora Carter will present: "You Don't Have to Move Out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One." The Conference will be at the Lansing Center, 333 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing. For more information and to register contact Diane Drago at 517-663-5147 or ddrago@dmsevents.com

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