Local revenue sharing PILT to be reduced

MANISTEE — Public safety officials from around Manistee County converged at the Manistee Township Hall on Monday for the Local Revenue Sharing Board’s verbal presentations meeting.

There are 21 public safety grants up for consideration that total about $245,000; there’s about $86,000 available for those grants.

HILLIARD

HILLIARD

“There’s not a whole lot of money,” said Ken Hilliard, board vice chair. “This is one of the lowest, and there’s nothing for other grants. We usually have at least $100,000 for public safety. Revenue coming in from the casino is down quite a bit. We even had to reduce our (payment in lieu of taxes).”

The revenue sharing board receives 2 percent of electronic gaming profits from the Little River Casino Resort and distributes it to government entities, with the first priority being about 12 percent to public safety, and then payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), and then other grants.

PILT is expected to be reduced by about 6 percent. Receiving entities are West Shore Community College, Manistee Intermediate School District, Manistee County, Manistee Township and Manistee Area Public Schools (MAPS). The biggest impacts will be on MAPS at about $48,000, and the county at about $21,000.

The most recent check from the casino was about $679,000 in May. The smallest check ever given to the board was about $37,000 in 2005. Some of the biggest checks  were more than $1 million in 2010 and 2011.

In 2009, the board changed how it calculated PILT payments from the value of the entire casino property to just the building where the gaming is located, which made it easier to pay the full PILT, said Tom Kaminski, county controller and administrator.

The last time PILT was reduced was in 2008 by 28 percent. In 2007, the payments were reduced by about 12 percent.

“The checks are a little less lately,” Kaminski said. “The combination of the value of the casino, and the checks being smaller is why PILT has to be reduced.”

Of the 21 public safety applications, there are two for the Onekama Township Fire Department for about $1,900, for a float dock strainer that sucks water from ponds and lakes for fire fighting and two chain saws.

KAMINSKI

KAMINSKI

The Manistee County Road Commission submitted an application for temporary traffic control zone signs for $24,800.

West Shore Medical Center applied for $23,014, which would provide partial funding to convert two emergency rooms to safe rooms.

The Bear Lake Township Fire Department applied for an $18,000 grant that would partially fund the purchase of equipment for its new fire truck.

Arcadia Township Fire Department put in an application for about $1,300 to fund equipment for off-road and wilderness rescues.

Cleon Township Fire Department applied for three grants for a total of about $18,000. Twelve SCBA cylinders could be purchased with $6,600. A 5-inch fire supply hose could be purchased with $6,000. A grant of $5,000 would buy more general equipment improvements.

Marion Community Fire Department requested $14,000 for a compression system.

The Manistee County Sheriff’s Office submitted two applications for FirstVu Body Cameras that would outfit all sheriff’s deputies’ cars for about $5,400, and five TASERS for about $5,800.

The SSCENT Narcotics Team requested $6,300 for a program that would allow citizens to dispose of unused medications.

Manistee County Council on Aging asked for $36,000 to redo its parking lot.

District Health Department No. 10 submitted an application for $10,000 to sample nine local beaches for E coli.

The City of Manistee Police Department sent in two requests. The first was for about $6,200 to purchase a video capture system for its interrogation room.The second application was for $3,500 to work with the Spay/Neuter Action Group to spay and neuter feral cats in the city.

Manistee Township Fire Department requested about $39,000 for wider fire suppression hoses and accompanying equipment.

The Manistee County Fire Fighters Assocation applied for about $16,000 to create a realistic, safe fire training facility.

Grants will be awarded at board’s the next meeting at 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Manistee Township Hall. Between now and then, board members Dennis Bjorkquist, Colleen Kenny and Hilliard, will make individual priority lists.

“Some of the grants we all agree on, usually three or four,” Hilliard said. “Those usually get the votes, and then we start bickering back and forth. You have to give and take a little bit; it’s interesting.”

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Posted by Justine McGuire

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