Infrastructure improvements in the Village of Vicksburg have been sadly neglected over the past decade. The Village budget for fiscal year 2014/15 reflects an important increase in fixing our roads and sewer and water systems, while balancing the budget with a reduction in costs in many other categories.
The budget serves as a roadmap for spending for the Village Council and has been carefully constructed so that money is spent on the infrastructure that has been neglected over the years. To accomplish these improvements, the Council decided to seek a bond issue to defray the costs of a new force main on V Avenue, a new lift station on Highway Street, and local street improvements, such as envisioned for West Prairie Street from Boulevard Street to the village limits.
The budget will increase from $4,015,700 to $4,743,000 due to funds from the bond issuance. At the same time, we have made reductions that will not jeopardize the safety of our residents. The police department budget has been set at $540,000 from the previous $688,000, a savings of $147,000, which was accomplished by officer attrition and reassigning patrol shifts.
The road improvements will be based upon an evaluation of the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study’s (KATS) evaluation of our streets at the July meeting. This assessment recognizes that our local streets are failing and are in desperate need of repair and maintenance. This detailed analysis will be presented at the next Council meeting. These poor conditions especially with the roads will take years to bring back to acceptable levels but the process has begun with this new budget. New money for major roads will increase by $38,600 or 62 percent. Local streets will increase by $125,600 or 169 percent.
We believe this emphasis reflects the input from the council and our citizens, while making sure that the Angels Crossing golf course is breaking even without aid from any other village funds in 2013. The expectation is that this trend will continue into 2014/15.