Commissioners approve an EDC loan to a local business; preview budget for the coming year

Several road  repaving projects were recently completed in the  Village of Lawrence, which included St. Joseph Street, from the main intersection west to the village limits, and from Fifth Street, to east of Lawrence Public Schools. Additional paving was done to Midway Court and Exchange Street. Prior to the paving, Consumers Energy installed new underground gas lines along St. Joseph Street.	
 Photos courtesy Village of Lawrence

By Paul Garrod
    news4garrod@vineyardpress.biz

    PAW PAW - The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $90,000 loan request from Pushard Welding, Mattawan.
    Van Buren County Economic Development administers a Revolving Loan Fund within the county for making loans available to promote growth and expansion. These funds have been made available through a state grant.
    The loan will be used for working capital to be paid over a seven-year term. A public hearing will be held Sept. 11, at 2:50 p.m. in the Van Buren County Commissioner's  board room.
    In another area, the commissioners approved  a  Secondary Road Patrol and Traffic Accident Prevention Program application submitted by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office that would help partially fund two Van Buren County Sheriff’s officers.
    `The total project cost is $199,964.00. The fiscal year 2018 – 2019 state allocation amount will be $65,575.
    Van Buren County Administrator John Faul told commissioners that the county can anticipate the General Fund to have a deficit of $500,000 for the year ending Sept. 30, 2018. It is generated by the budgeted deficit of $250,000 to provide a one-time fund balance to Speciality Courts and the resolutions of 2010-2011 and 2012-2015 property tax litigations.
    In this year’s budget, among the highlights, commissioners will need to address the ap-proval of a 0.025 mill levy  that will satisfy the statutory requirements to fund a Soldiers and Sailors Relief Commission (SSRC). During the past six months, the county has hired  a fulltime Veterans Service Officer who assists veterans in applying for federal Veterans Administration  assistance, as well as connecting veterans with other social services. These  expected services are funded through the General Fund and grants. The SSRC is a mandated function.
    Also, commissioners will need to recommend approval of payroll increase requests be-cause of contract expiration and succession management planning in the  Finance Department and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
  

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