Chelsea Council approves city’s 2021 budget

CHELSEA – The Chelsea City Council approved the city’s operating budget for the 2021 fiscal year at a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The general fund budget of $11,525,487 represents a 3-percent increase in tax revenues over last year, Mayor Tony Picklesimer said.

With capital projects like the splash pad, phase 2 of the Chelsea Sports Complex and road paving, the budget totals $14,179,057.

General fund expenditures are projected to total $5.48 million.

Operating transfers out, which include $3,504,655 for the city’s fire department, will total about $5.84 million.

The city is forecasting a surplus of $200,423.

As the 2020 fiscal year wraps up this month, city leaders are pleased with Chelsea’s financial status amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have rebounded nicely from the shutdown,” Picklesimer said.

In other business, the Council approved a resolution providing Tier I retirement benefits to Tier II plan members.

Councilmember Cody Sumners said Tier I gives members a higher percentage of their salaries during retirement and does not cap their benefits.

The resolution applies to current and future city employees.

“These benefits that we just voted on for our city employees do not affect and do not apply to elected officials,” Picklesimer said. “We are not voting for anything for ourselves. It is for our employees.”

Chelsea Fire Chief Joe Lee said Tier I is a helpful tool in recruiting and retaining employees.

“Not everybody understands Tier I and what that means, but those of us in the retirement system, especially firemen, understand that completely,” Lee said. “I would like to say thank you very much to this council and the mayor. That’s a really big deal to our young guys and for the new guys that we will have in the future.”

Lee added that the Council’s approval of the budget means the fire department will be able to add more staff members this year.

“The more people we have on duty every day, the safer this city is, and the more effective we are at running calls,” Lee said. “On behalf of the entire fire department, thank you to this council and mayor for all the hard work you do for us. You make it a great place to work and a great place to live.”

The Council also:

  • Approved a proclamation declaring Sept. 28 as Family Day and the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3 as Family Week in Chelsea.
  • Approved a proclamation declaring the week of Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in Chelsea.
  • Approved a resolution to authorize the mayor to execute a contract for HdL to perform a business license ordinance review and fee analysis.