Howell council delays adoption of 2020 municipal budget

HOWELL – Members of the Howell Township Council did not adopt the 2020 municipal budget as scheduled on April 7. Instead, officials carried the action to a later date due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The council has introduced a $53.54 million budget. As introduced, the budget would be supported by the collection of $29.2 million in taxes from Howellโ€™s residential and commercial property owners.

Township Manager Brian Geoghegan said the budget’s adoption would be carried to a later date so officials may determine how the pandemic will affect Howell financially.

Geoghegan said he is working with Chief Financial Officer Lou Palazzo on a resolution for the council members to consider regarding unused funds related to snow removal.

“Fortunately this year, having so little snowfall, our snow trust fund has built up quite a bit. We will put a resolution before you to consider that would allow us to use that money for an emergency, namely the current crisis. (Passing that resolution) would make that money available to us for any spending that may need to be done,” he said.

Geoghegan said there is $800,000 in the snow trust fund. He said the last time Howell officials took similar action was following superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Councilman John Bonevich thanked his fellow council members for postponing the adoption of the budget and said, “These are uncharted waters, as we all know.”